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Brian Francis readying for Trial in the Murder of Justin Cox-Beckles

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 15, 2023 – A promising and ambitious 22-year-old employee of the electricity company, FortisTCI – JUSTIN COX-BECKLES – was on Sunday July 24, 2022, shot and killed and now that case is in court as those who loved the young man hope for justice.

According to police, this shooting took place in public, amidst a crowd of people a popular lounge at Rock Plaza, near the Blue Hills Roundabout in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.

The young man, whose father is a high ranking member of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, was a native of South Caicos.  The family had to endure this shocking loss just months after young Justin’s mother had passed, buried within the same year he was killed while hanging out at the lounge.

The matter made the court list for a mention hearing on Thursday, 14th December, 2023. The accused has hired Oliver Smith, KC as his representative in the murder proceedings.

Police investigations, from eye witnesses and CCTV led them to the arrest of several suspects.  Eventually, one man was charged; BRIAN FRANCIS, 28-years-old who is also facing other related firearm offences.

FRANCIS has been on remand at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) since his arrest shortly after the murder.

At the time of the incident last year, the former police commissioner released a statement that reads: “Justin’s murder was a senseless act of violence that has taken a young life and ripped apart the lives of family, friends, and a community.”

He went on to say, “it’s clear that people are struggling to comprehend the taking of a life in such a terrible and cowardly act, and we should all be shocked and saddened by this murder.”

Commissioner Trevor Botting, condemned the carrying of unlicensed weapons and aimed to appeal to the “Christian” nature of the residents for help in the matter which was said to have been witnessed by many individuals.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” he said, adding, “… it is the time to speak out, condemn and work together to rid the scourge of gun crime, violence and murder from the TCI. Staying silent when you can help stop the violence is taking the side of the oppressor, of the very people who are killing our young people. If you know something, say something, do not stay silent, do not stay neutral and do not choose the side of those despicable criminals carrying out these acts.”

Cox-Beckles was described as an “innocent” man with accolades streaming in at news of his death.  Now, 17-months later, the lone man arrested for the crime – Brian Francis – is readying for trial.

Crime

Shooting Incident

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 23rd, 2024.

 

Around 10:59 am, the Police Control Room received a call of gunshots at a location along the Millennium Highway, Providenciales.

Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force were dispatched and, based on preliminary investigations, were told that the occupant (s) of a red Suzuki Swift was at a business place when another car pulled alongside it, and the occupants started shooting.

The driver of the Swift drove off while the other unidentified vehicle sped off in a separate direction. 

Officers found the Swift abandoned near Miracle Close, Blue Hills, shortly after.

Based on investigations, no injuries were reported.

This remains an active investigation.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information or CCTV footage of the shooting that may assist the police with enquiries to contact 911, the closest police station, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and anonymously give any information.

Additionally, persons are being asked to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app.

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Twelve Officers Sworn In

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 23rd, 2024.

 

 

There are twelve new officers within the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

The officers—Ronn James, Ernie Henry, Aron Charlery, Andrew Ottley, Emmanuel Dabreo, Damion Clarke, Jeffrey Kaye, Roan Waugh, Shan Livermore, Kemar Chambers, Michael Campbell, and Ajay Budhai—took an oath to protect and serve the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands yesterday (July 22nd) afternoon at Police Headquarters, Providenciales.

Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin, who administered the officers’ oath, said, “Thank you for choosing the TCI. It will not be a bed of roses. Policing requires hard work, and you ensure our communities are safe. Your arrival was anticipated and highly overdue.

“You are now officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, and you are committed to the safety of the people of these archipelagoes. We must lead by example and not let our guard down. Stand firm on the foundation of our motto- Service With Pride and Integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing in the absence of anyone watching.”

The President of the Christian Council, Pastor Wilbert Jennings, delivered the opening prayer and told officers to always call on God in their time of need.

Deputy Commissioner Rodney Adams, Assistant Commissioner Kendall Grant, acting Assistant Commissioner Mat Newton, Chairman of the Police Welfare Association Sgt. Jepson Victor and Human Resources Manager Rex Swann also attended the ceremony.

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Crime

Male Charged with Theft and Handling Stolen Goods 

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 23rd,2024.

 

A 23-year-old male from the Bight, Providenciales, has been charged with the theft of a boat.

CHANDELER JOSEPH is expected to appear before a Magistrate next week to answer the following charges:

  • Two Counts of Theft
  • Two Counts of Handling Stolen Goods

The charges against Mr. Joseph followed a report of a stolen boat in the Turtle Cove district on July 19th,2024.

Inquiries were conducted shortly after Mr Joseph was arrested and subsequently charged.

The RTCIPF is asking anyone with information on illegal activities that may assist the police with enquiries to contact 911, the closest police station, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and anonymously give any information.

Additionally, persons are being asked to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app.

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