Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicos, December 15, 2023 – He was busted in the head and sliced from back to front of his neck; the images of the injuries are blood curdling.
It was supposed to be a short and straightforward wounding with intent trial, instead it ended up running a near three weeks due to complications and objections in the matter.
The accused is Mr. TERINE HARVEY AKA TC and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) brought him before the court on allegations that he on Thursday June 16th, 2022 in Pine or Sam Wilson Yard did maliciously and unlawfully wound Valman “Val” Forbes.
The trial started on Monday October 30th and ended on Friday November 17th 2023.
On October 30th there were issues in the jury process due to insufficient numbers to commence impaneling, and her Ladyship Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson adjourned to the following day for more potential jurors to attend court.
The jury numbers slowly became sufficient throughout the day on October 31, but the case still could not proceed because the prosecutor with conduct of the matter Mrs. Hatmin was ill and Principal Public Prosecutor Clement Joseph was holding for her.
Mr. Joseph, Ms. Mair and Justice Lobban Jackson discussed and agreed to move forward with the jury selection and five women and two men were picked with the trial set to start the following day, November 1.
When the virtual complainant, Valman “Val” Forbes took the stand, he began his testimony by swearing on the Bible to tell the truth and nothing, but the truth.
Forbes said on the night of June 16th, 2022, TC cut him with something sharp that he didn’t see. He said he only saw TC’s hand moved swiftly when he tried to turn around and held his neck after feeling the swipe. Val told the jury he heard a bottle bust, and shortly after, he was cut by TC. He didn’t see him bust the bottle.
Val gave testimony of how he had to do two or three different statements because his first statement got lost by police officers. His supporting witness refused to cooperate with the police to give another statement, having learned that the first statement given went missing.
Val Forbes told the court that he and TC had a problem before, and the day of the incident was a continuation. He said they were in Sam’s/Pine’s Yard in Kew Town, playing Dominos, gambling and drinking. He admitted, and yes, “smoking weed too.”
He said he and TC argued on more than one occasion and what he think really got him when he told him, “Boy girls/women looking for money these days,” suggesting that TC has none.
Forbes said TC kicked him on his leg and he (Forbes) punched him; they got into a fight.
“I had to show him, he ain’t ready for me.”
Throughout Forbes’ testimony, in an upset and uncomfortable manner, he kept belittling and stating derogatory comments and statements about his alleged attacker as he sat in the defendant’s dock.
The complainant said “he thinks because I have one arm, he could have handled me, but he had to go get something and cut me.”
There were even seemingly irrelevant statements made including about a relationship, Forbes claims to have had with a police woman and how he “can’t stand her anymore.”
Val Forbes spent three days testifying in the witness stand and the cross examination could easily summed up as an unpleasant experience.
Having realized the VC, Val Forbes was not cooperating or unwilling to cooperate with her under cross-examination; Sheena Mair asked him if he smokes cocaine? He replied, “Yes, we do that sometimes.”
She asked him if he’s high on ‘coke’ now while testifying, however Forbes denied being high at the time. Still he showed signs of being agitated and irritable in the lengthy intense cross-examination by the defense.
What also appeared rather shocking and surprising was that the doctor testified and made no mention of the head injury. Dr. Gregory Lawdell only spoke of the size, the depth, the seriousness, and in his professional opinion what he believes caused such a wound to Val’s neck.
Attorney Mair asked the doctor about Val’s behavior and mannerism toward the hospital staff that night when he came in for treatment and the doctor said he was very, very upset and angry but he doesn’t think it was towards the staff but because of what happened to him.
Forbes’ sister, Hynetta Karen Forbes testified regarding photos she took of her brother’s two injuries (head and neck) that night of the incident, as the Police nor the doctor took any photos and had none to give Mrs. Hatmin the prosecutor.
After the Crown closed their case, Sheena Mair made an application of “no case” submission to the judge Tanya Lobban-Jackson, but it was rejected.
The defense then called its only witness Jason Moore who said he refused to give the police another statement because he told them he “lied.”
Moore said he needed the money, and Val Forbes had “paid” him to lie. He told the judge and jury he went back and told the authorities what he did.
Her Ladyship Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson, at the close of the defense and prosecution speech or closing remarks, summed up the case to the jury by outlining the evidence and the law clearly to them.
They jury was then released for deliberation and came back with a verdict of not guilty against TERINE HARVEY.
Magnetic Media was present for days throughout this trial and captured the Val Forbes on video while the jury was out deliberating.
He appeared so happy and confident in hope of a guilty verdict.
We also captured the defendant outside the court while he awaited his verdict and after the verdict of “not guilty” was delivered.
Clearly pleased with the outcome, Harvey said about his attorney, “She’s the bomb, she’s the bomb.”
TCI Police Confirm Passenger Death after Emergency Landing at PLS
A female passenger who fell ill during a flight while on route to Charlotte, North Carolina from the Dominican Republic was taken from that plane and transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center where sadly, she died.
The 41-year-old woman had been escorted to the hospital by police units; we are told that CPR was performed on the passenger.
Police in that statement on Wednesday informed, s a post mortem will determine the cause of death.
Police hear major concerns from GT residents
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Given the opportunity to liaison with the top brass of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, residents came prepared with the concerns that have been plaguing them for years, from detective work to 911 issues.
”Y’all didn’t say anything new, we keep hearing the same thing and we keep getting the same result,” was the complaint from the very first resident who spoke; but her biggest concern was the force’s detective work.
The resident said she was not averse to sharing information with the police, far from it.
“Someone sent me a video where a young man was sitting on a bed putting two bullets in a gun— and he called two names, he said one bullet for one of these people.”
After sending the video to the police the woman says, incredulously, the police asked her to find the room where the young man was so they could go and collect the gun. Her frustration was: “It seems like the police put more of the burden on the community to provide them with information instead of going out there.”
In response to the concern, Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime expressed that the police had had success recently, and over time because of community intelligence and would do better at working to communicate that success so residents were assured that they were making a difference.
A concern raised by another resident was the disconnect between 911 operators and Grand Turk residents.
“Once you call 911 operators they don’t know addresses in Grand Turk. I called the 911 operator, this was right by the police station, she didn’t even know where I was,” explained a resident sharing details of a car accident weeks prior.
The complaint has been an enduring one. Magnetic Media has received similar complaints regarding other serious incidents like fires and murders.
Oswald Skippings, Former Chief Minister demanded a more proactive approach to crime fighting with which Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor agreed. He didn’t just put the blame on the police, drawing the Governor and parents into the limelight outlining that they too had a part to play in the prevention of crime.
“There is a need for the government to reach down to unemployed residents, especially the youth and it’s easy because we have a small native population. We need to go under the trees, by the bars wherever these people associate and reach out to them.”
On the panel listening to the concerns were Micheal Woodbine, Superintendent of Prison; Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime and SPPU; Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner; Chris Eyre, Acting Commissioner; and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor.
The meeting was called after the public slaying of a young man in Grand Turk on February 8, 2024.
Not Enough Police in Grand Turk; Residents are vocal in Anti-Crime Town Hall Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Residents of Grand Turk, while appreciative of the recent police Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting on February 21, say they’re concerned about the number of officers being deployed to the nation’s Capital.
One resident who spoke to the police officers during the event brought statistics.
”I want to speak to what I see happening in Grand Turk. In the ongoing capacity carrying study. It has been noted that the population in Grand Turk is around 72 to 7300 – that works out to about 927 persons per square mile.”
The resident maintained that 927 persons per square mile on an island like Grand Turk was in the police’s favor and much could be done for crime fighting using both humans and technology. Citing the millions of visitors that visit the island’s shores each year, residents lamented that there was no police enforcement to go along with that.
”We live here, we see the change, probably the parliamentarians don’t see it but we see it and we expect that as citizens to have more than three police officers working the night shift.”
Other residents were in agreement, expressing frustration at the blind eye that they say is often turned to the capital.
“Why did it have to get to this point, that there had to be a shooting basically at the high school in order for people to [realize] that 20 or 15 or 28 officers just doesn’t cut it,” said one longtime resident
He complained that nine years ago, having moved to Grand Turk there were over 40 officers but with the increase in killings in Providenciales officers were stripped from Grand Turk. Now residents say they want them back.
Earlier, during the meeting police had promised that the increased presence in Grand Turk would not be temporary and they were exploring ways to increase the Force complement.
Hosting the meeting were executives of the Royal TCI Police including new Acting Commissioner Christopher Eyre; Dean Holden, Superintendent and Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner. Attending were Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris.
The meeting was held at H.J. Robinson High school.
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