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Elderly American man gets bail on bullets charge; Cancer diagnoses sways court  

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 21, 2023 – He is a 72-year-old, retired school teacher now serving in the Catholic Church in his home state of Texas in the United States of America.  He arrived in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) along with his wife and family as they renewed their vows, celebrating some over 40 years of marriage.

As we wish not to divulged too many details regarding his terminal cancerous medical conditions but the aged senior is near death and came to TCI on what could be one of his final vacations according to his medical records from doctors in the United States.  The heartbreak of the doctor’s prognosis, revealed in open court by his defense team Oliver Smith, KC, and his junior assistant Ms. Kimone Tennant was palpable.

The old man was leaving the TCI on Tuesday, December 12th, 2023 with his family after an enjoyable vacation when, at the Providenciales International Airport, seven rounds of low end 9mm ammunition was discovered in his departure luggage.

MICHAEL-LEE EVANS was released on Police bail with the directive to return to the station on the December 19th but given his poor health, his senior defense counsel Oliver Smith KC made emergency arrangements with police and the Magistrate’s Court to meet them at the court instead of the police station, where detectives charged EVANS with being in possession of unregistered ammunition without being the holder of firearm; which is illegal in the TCI.

In a fast moving case, the Grand Turk Acting Resident Magistrate Ms. Patricia Arana told the accused when brought before the court (she appearing by video link from the Grand Turk Magistrate’s Court) that she would be unable to consider or grant him bail.  Magistrate Arana added that a plea was not yet required and the matter was scheduled for its Sufficiency Hearing on February 2; she then transferred the matter to the Supreme Court.

Attorney KC Smith rushed to the Supreme Court’s office in order to file a bail application; his action was met with success as a bail hearing was arranged for 11:30a, pm December 19.

Magnetic Media was present at the bail hearing which was opposed by senior public prosecutor Mrs. Nayasha Hatmin on the instructions of the learned DPP.  Hatmin did give an earnest effort to have the hearing re-scheduled to a later date however, Judge Tanya Lobban Jackson was opposed to any adjournment of the matter especially given the court was due to be shut until the opening of the new legal year in 2024.

Due to the deteriorating health of the elderly defendant, KC Smith took a bold approach and asked the Court for the visitor to be allowed to return to the US to continue his extensive and continuous medical treatment while waiting on his sufficiency hearing.

Mr. Smith told the court in plain and direct language that to keep Mr. Evans here in the TCI could result in his death while under our watch. Smith raised the points that the accused requires round the clock medical care and to remand him at the Department of Corrections which has no doctor and is only visited by a nurse from time to time, could be detrimental.

The DPP’s office was not prepared to back down despite the reasoning put forth, explaining that this “is a very serious offense that carries a mandatory minimum of 12 years in prison” and said, if the accused was allowed to leave, he has no reason to return.

Her Ladyship Tanya Lobban Jackson having heard both sides in her decision said, the accused man’s medical needs is what “tips it over the scale”.  Bail was granted for Michael Lee Evans  in the sum of $20,000.00; $10,000.00 to be immediate cash and $10,000.00 surety for one or two persons to sign.

The judge went on to order that Evans is allowed to leave the jurisdiction and attend court via link from overseas through his attorney Mr. Smith, KC. Explaining that the 72-year old cancer patient did not have to return for the February 2nd, 2024 Sufficiency Hearing but that he “must return to the TCI for the date of the plea and direction hearing(PDH).”

Michael-Lee Evans has since left the country along with his family.

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“Mad Max” Convicted of Murder

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MEDIA RELEASE

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 23, 2024 – Blue Hills resident KENDALL RONDRE DEAN has been convicted of murdering JOSHUA SWANN.

Mr. Dean, also called “Maddie”, “Mad Max”, and “Dre”, was found guilty by a nine-member jury yesterday (April 22nd) in the Grand Turk Supreme Court.

Following the verdict, Mr. Dean was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison, pending sentencing on 10th June 2024.

Based on the evidence presented, Mr. SWANN of Five Cays was shot multiple times about the body on Sunday, August 8th, 2021, while at North West Point, Providenciales.

Mr. Swann was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives of the Serious Crimes Unit received a report, and following intensive investigations and interviews, Mr. Dean was arrested and subsequently charged.

Shortly after the verdict, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams said, “This conviction demonstrates the RTCIPF’s commitment to bringing to justice those who cause the most harm throughout our communities using illegal firearms.

“This is an example of the effective coordination of the various units across the Force in supporting the lead detective in bringing about this conviction. The RTCIPF is grateful for the information provided by witnesses who came forward.

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Airports Authority aims for 24-hour airport and announces Scholarship programme

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – In an attempt to move to 24-hour-a-day operations Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) is steadily recruiting Air Traffic Controllers to work at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International Airport, according to Godfrey Smith, TCIAA CEO, reporting to the Appropriations Committee.

Speaking on April 8th Smith said a cabinet paper would be sent soon requesting six more Air Traffic Controllers to make round the clock operation at the Provo International possible and to open the airport in Grand Turk till 12 a.m.

Currently, 17 posts are filled and seven are vacant.

Smith was candid with his responses to recent industrial action from ATCs which led to resignations and firings.

“What we have to do is find systems to mitigate such actions and that has to start with filling these jobs, putting people in that want to work and doing right by people – and we always try to do right by our staff. Persons may not think that we are but we always do – we ain’t pick no fight,” he said in the meetings held at the NJS Francis building ahead of the National Budget Communication.

Smith indicated that recruitment was an issue across the board, ‘we need to find ways to recruit a little bit better’ he told the committee. Also in need of a push was capital spending or projects according to the CEO, who said the agency had ‘not been very good’ at meeting that mark but insisted they had recognized the issue and could do better.

A very important key performance indicator drawn up by the TCIAA is increasing passenger satisfaction at the Howard Hamilton International Airport. For the TCIAA part of this means a 30 percent increase in seating by Q2 of this year.

When queried on if they could even handle this increase the CEO said,

“The fact of the matter is we already have the capacity there. What we need is to make the service a bit better.”

Staff shortages have become such a frustrating issue that the TCIAA is instituting a scholarship program created by Authority Chairman, Selvyn Hawkins

“What the board wants to do is basically allocate $25,000 annually for a scholarship and they’ve approved it already.”

This process would cover tuition and all other costs for one student.

The student would return as a summer intern and other breaks to work at the TCIAA and upon graduation, assume a role at the company.

“We identify a particular skill we need, we go after it and we build capacity that is in a nutshell the nexus of the program,” Smith said.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) is allocated $49 million this financial year; over $20 million goes to salaries.

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Flow TCI offers Gigabyte Speeds to Customers

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Company delivers fastest speeds nationwide and boosts service reliability

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS, APRIL 19th, 2024 – More connections, faster speeds and greater support for customers. This is the promise from communications and entertainment provider, Flow TCI, as it embarks on an initiative to provide households with enhanced connections, greater overall reliability and now, for the first time, speeds up to one gigabit person second.

FLOW TCI Country Manager, Joanne Missick shared: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We listen to our customers and want to exceed their demands, so we are focused on delivering unmatched value with customer centric products and services that are future proof. Flow subscribers on our Fibre Extreme package can now access up to one gigabyte speeds and subscribers on our Fibre Plus and Fibre Max package, as of April 1st, are also now benefitting from up to 5x more speeds.”

This is third speed boost for Flow customers in the last two years. This comes under the umbrella of the the Company’s recently launched “Working for You” campaign, where technicians are going into the neighborhoods across the island to conduct repairs, decommission copper cables, and increase the brand’s visibility in local communities.

“To date several neighborhoods have been served by technicians and the company will continue to go across the islands to ensure each neighborhood receives personal attention. We recognize that over the past few months some customers have experienced issues with the quality and delivery of our services. This is not what we stand for. Flow remains committed to providing technology and innovation that enables growth and positively impacts lives”, says, newly appointed Head of Technical Operations, Simeon Thomas.

Thomas adds, “We have been closely monitoring and reviewing every aspect of our network and there is room for improvement across each of the islands. Where we find shortcomings, we are taking concrete actions and assigning our technicians to rapidly make all necessary adjustments and improvements for our customers”.

Flow has made significant investments in expanding and modernizing its infrastructure and delivering a more robust and reliable network paving the way for the country’s digital transformation.

For more information on speed increases visit https://www2.discoverflow.co/turks-and-caicos/price-adjustment-speed-increase on our website.

Thank you for your usual assistance in sharing our stories.

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