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THIRD MAN charged with being a Gang Member to spend Holidays in Prison; Talbot is denied bail

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 10, 2023 – Three young men, according to police investigation, who are allegedly involved in the Dock Yard/Kew Town gang in both joined and separate matters were adjourned to early 2024. All three men were ordered to remain at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) without bail.

The most recent of the three charged and remanded to the DCR was 20-year-old American Turks Islander, REGINALD TALBOT,JR, who had just arrived in the TCI on the day in question.

He was taken to the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday  November 5th, 2023, arraigned before the Hon Chief Magistrate(CM) Mr. Jolyon Hatmin on charges of Gang membership or being a gang member and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit a serious offense.

The learned CM told the accused REGINALD TALBOT, who was represented by two attorneys; Oliver Smith, KC and his junior assistant, Kimone Tennant, that he (the CM) can only read the charges to him at this stage and the matter was transferred to the Supreme Court.

This he did, and the accused was remanded until February 2nd 2024 for a Sufficiency Hearing.

His attorney immediately filed a civil bail application in the Supreme Court, and the bail hearing was heard on Thursday, December 7th 2023.

The allegations against TALBOT are that on August 2nd 2023 (this being the date an alleged gang boss/leader Guilene “GB” Jean Baptiste was killed in Grace Bay), TALBOT was reportedly seen by a police drone with what appeared to be a short gun in his right hand, alongside other masked gang members with what appeared to be much larger and longer heavy duty rifles in their hands.  The drone surveillance allegedly picked up images of the group while they were in Dock Yard, Providenciales, said to have been caught on camera shooting at the police and their armored truck.

Talbot is not charged with discharging firearm or ammunition because the police could not ascertain who fired the shots at them, however, they did state, according to Principal Public Prosecutor Clement Joseph that police returned fire, had to retreat and they were outnumbered by what could only be a gang.

Senior Defense attorney Oliver Smith, KC, when putting forward his submission to the Hon lady Justice Tanya Lobban-Jackson in seeking bail for his client, said that this “anti-gang ordinance” was poorly drafted.

KC Smith told the court, “the charges against his client were flimsy, paper-thin, without substance and has no teeth.”

He challenged the continued detention of his client constitutionally, stating his client has a right to bail and this court must not take it lightly. He said his client may be a USA citizen indeed, but he’s no less of a Turks Islander as he has a TCI passport as well. He has dual citizenship, and they’re willing to surrender both passports for bail. He told her Ladyship that the young man lives here with his parents at an address known to Police.

Making a case that Talbot was not a flight risk.

Mr. Smith KC challenged the prosecution’s submission to the court that because an alleged other gang member WOODY VINCENT JEAN BAPTISTE was refused bail by this court for the same allegations on the same date and time, his client must receive the same fate.

Oliver Smith said, Clement Joseph wants the court to apply “a one size fit all” view to this application, but he submitted there are case laws to support the possibility of variations in bail decisions.

The judge, having heard both sides for just over two hours, ruled against the applicant and denied the bail application.  Talbot is now remanded until his Sufficiency Hearing in February.

The lady justice, in her reasons for refusal said that she relied heavily on the affidavit evidence on Police Sgt. Kevin Mars as it outlined that the clothing seen from footage taken by the drone worn by the defendant in Dock Yard on the date of the incident on August 2nd, 2023, as compelling.

The judge explained that the very same ripped jeans pants, the very unique multi-color sneakers/tennis and the very same hoody with “Class of 21” was found in his room when Police conducted a search at his residence.  These were items worn by the male picked up in the drone footage.

Talbot was arrested last month (late November 2023).

Magnetic Media has confirmed that this is exactly the same type of evidence the police and prosecution are relying on in the case against Woody Vincent Jean Baptiste where clothing seen on cameras and by officers at the murder scene of his brother Guilene “GB” Jean Baptiste in Grace Bay, were also identified in the drone video of the group of men captured on footage on August 2, in a shootout with Police in Dock Yard.

According to police, Baptiste was also picked up on the drone in Dock Yard later that same day, along with Reginald Talbot and other so called, “gang members.”

In Baptiste’s case, Police also report they found the pants in a search at his home, that matched the Grace Bay camera videos and the very same pants he was still wearing at the shoot-out with the police in Dock Yard, that very day.

WOODY VINCENT JEAN BAPTISTE was last in court in this gang matter at his Sufficiency Hearing on Friday December 1st, 2023, before her Ladyship the Hon Chief Justice Mable Agyemang and he was committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court. His remand continues to January 26th, 2024 for a plea and directions hearing (PDH).

As for the third alleged gang member CYDEREO SMITH his Sufficiency Hearing was originally set for December 5, 2023. Smith’s arrest and charges are linked to a February 5 shooting at the underground parking lot of the Regent Grand Village in Grace Bay.  That sufficiency hearing is now adjourned to January 5.

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Town Hall De-briefing

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#TurksandCaicos, February 21, 2024 – Acting Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre held a meeting with Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris, today (February 21st) at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The debriefing was to discuss concerns raised by residents during last evening’s Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting at the H.J Robinson High School, Grand Turk.

Commissioner Eyre expressed his deep appreciation to Her Excellency and Hon Morris for their attendance, saying that work was already underway to address the community concerns.

Commissioner Eyre said: “I acknowledge the challenges raised and wish to assure you that the Executive of the RTCIPF remains steadfast in ensuring the TCI is safe. We listened to your concerns, and I assure you that rebuilding trust and strengthening community-policing relations are top priorities.

“The RTCIPF has taken a holistic approach in the fight against crime. Increased visibility, greater stakeholder collaborations and ongoing dialogue forums to appraise you will occur. We are accountable to you.”

 

Photo Captions

Header: Town Hall Meeting Head Table (l-r) Superintendent of Prisons Michael Woodbine, HE the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, Deputy Commissioner Rodney Adams, Superintendent Dean Holden, ag Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre.

1st insert: HE the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, MP Grand Turk North Hon Otis Morris and ag Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre during this afternoon’s debriefing at Police Headquarters.

2nd insert: Grand Turk resident Derek Been addresses the head table during the Question and Answer segment

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Two Charged With Firearm Offences

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JERREAL MISSICK

#TurksandCaicos, February 21, 2024 – JERREAL MISSICK, 22, of Over Back, Grand Turk and SHAQUAZE FORBES, 21, also from Over Back, are expected to appear before a Magistrate charged with the following offences.

1) Gang Membership;
2) Possession of a Firearm;
3) Possession of Ammunition and
4) Discharging Firearm

Both Mr. Missick and Mr. Forbes were charged under the Anti-Gang Ordinance (2022) following an investigation into the discharging of a firearm incident that occurred on February 13th 2024, in Over Back.
The charges came after police officers consulted with the Office of the Director of Public
Prosecutions.

SHAQUAZE FORBES

Head of Crime, Safeguarding, and Public Protection Superintendent Dean Holden said: “This is another example of the Police Force’s relentless pursuit of those suspected to be involved in gang-related crime, specifically the criminal use of illegal firearms. This latest charge also demonstrates our continued use of the Anti-Gang legislation to target individuals who cause harm to our communities”.

The RTCIPF is asking the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842,Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on illegal activity.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app from the Google Play store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities and Telecommunications proudly Commissions the Yellow Wing

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 21st February 2024 – The long-awaited completion and commissioning of the Yellow Wing at the Department of Correctional Services took place in Grand Turk yesterday.

The event was attended by a number of Government functionaries; including Her Excellencies, the Governor and Deputy Governor, Ms. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Mrs. Anya Williams respectively, the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, Attorney General, Hon. Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, as well as the Minister for Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities and Telecommunication’s Commission, Hon. Otis Morris.

Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister for Tourism, Permanent Secretaries, Mrs. Bridgette Newman, Mr. James Astwood and Mr. Miquel Swann, newly appointed interim Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Eyre, Chaplains of the HoA and the Prison, along with staff of the Public Works Department, Department of Correctional Services and Olympic Construction were also in attendance.

The reconstruction of the Yellow Wing commenced in May 2020, following destruction of the building by fire in 2019.

The ceremony was chaired by Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Clyde Greene. Among the officials who brought remarks, were, the Superintendent, the Minister, the Deputy Governor, the Premier and the Governor; all of whom expressed their delight in being able to participate in and witness the commissioning.

In his remarks, the Superintendent of the Department of Correctional Services, Mr. Michael Woodbine expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Government and Ministry for the additional funding received by the Department, to assist with the resolution of a number of longstanding issues.

He went on to note, “The key function of the prison is not only to protect the public by keeping those who pose a risk out of society, but it also has a wider role to play in supporting law enforcement”

He further highlighted some of the Department’s community activities, support given in various areas and his department’s plans for the year.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities and Telecommunication’s Commission, Hon. Otis Morris in his remarks stated, “Today marks a significant milestone, as we gather to celebrate the completion of the Yellow Wing. This project has been a collaborative effort; which demonstrated my Government’s commitment to providing a safer and more humane environment for inmates and staff alike.” 

Hon. Morris went on to note that the improvements made to the Yellow Wing would not only enhance the living conditions for inmates but would also contribute to the overall rehabilitation and well-being of those in the Department’s care.

In conclusion, he encouraged all to continue to work together to uphold the highest standards of safety, security and rehabilitation within our correctional facilities.

Following the hand-over of the keys, cutting of the ribbon and blessing of the building; attendees were treated to a Control and Restraint mock exercise to remove a non-compliant and violent person from a cell.

The team demonstrated the manner in which they calmly manage these very difficult situations, trying their best to de-escalate the person’s heightened mood and aggression. The Exercise was well received and the team was highly commended for their negotiation and team work skills.

The ceremony ended with the Vote of Thanks by the Deputy Superintendent Mr. Raymond Grant.

The Department of Correctional Services with the of support of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development will continue the upgrade of the facilities at the Department of Correctional Services with the works to the Blue and Green wings.

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