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Crime

First Parker, now Shavez Musgrove FREED after Court of Appeal QUASHES CONVICTIONS and 25 year sentences

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 29, 2024 – February 29th at around 9:30 a.m., the court of appeal of the Turks and Caicos Islands convened via video link and delivered its judgement as it relates to multiple convictions of rapes, kidnappings, firearms offences and other charges in the case of ANDREW PARKER and SHAVEZ MUSGROVE.

The appeals were actually heard since October 19th, 2023, with ANDREW PARKER being released that same day because after the crown, then senior public prosecutor Ms. Mickia Mills heard the arguments of ANDREW Parker’s senior defense counsel Mrs Lara Maroof Misick she conceded to the appeal being allowed against PARKER, and acquittals entered on all counts. 

PARKER immediately walked free from October last year, leaving his co-appellant in prison, awaiting a decision, from the three appellate judges, in his matter before the Court.

Andrew Parker

Musgrove’s appeal was also heard on October 19th last year, but the Court needed time to consider the multiple interests of justice arguments put forward by human rights attorney Ms Sheena Mair on behalf of her client, Shavez MUSGROVE.

The then senior public prosecutor, Ms Mickia Mills, who is now the Turks and Caicos Islands, first Coroner, did put up a fight against MUSGROVE’S appeal but it was obvious she knew the human rights attorney – Sheena Mair – would present arguments as to the fairness of the trial which could have resulted in the conviction being overturned.  

It is what happened today, the conviction of Musgrove was overturned today, Thursday February 29th, 2024.

Magnetic Media was in court at the hearing of both appeals last year and it was clearly through the submissions of both senior attorneys on behalf of their clients, that the learned local trial Judge at the time, Mr. Carlos Simons, KC made countless serious errors that affected the fairness of the trial and rendered the convictions and 25 year sentences against both appellants, unsafe and unsatisfactory.

Shavez Musgrove

The Court of Appeal said, they have QUASHED the SHAVEZ MUSGROVE convictions and sentences on multiple grounds of unfairness submitted by Mrs. Sheena Mair and because of the passage of time this case has being running some seven years with some of the evidence exhibits being destroyed in a fire of the exhibit room at the police station, in the interest of justice, no retrial has been ordered.

MUSGROVE is hereby ordered released from prison.

 

 

Crime

Following Court ruling, US Embassy Doubles Down on Warning: DO NOT TRAVEL TO TCI WITH GUNS, AMMO

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

Dozens of news reports are all over TV and the internet, scarring the Turks and Caicos’ reputation yet again. This time linked to what Americans view as the preposterous law, which would, without chance for legal argument, throw a tourist into prison for 12 years.  It is a mandatory conviction law on the books for possession of unlicensed guns or ammunition, and which just heard from the Court of Appeal that there ought to be no exceptions, whether it is one bullet or one gun, whether it is a tourist or a woman.

But what policymakers in various submissions in the House of Assembly back in October thought would return a win or opportunity for leniency to be injected as part of a legal defense has backfired.  Now, unequivocally, the high court has ruled that the law gives no leeway.  Anyone found with an unlicensed gun or ammunition must face what the law says is the penalty: not a fine, no reduced prison time, no exoneration, but 12 years mandatory in His Majesty’s Prison.

Now the US Embassy is doubling down on its message to travelers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Do not travel with your legal gun and ammunition from the US to the islands. Do not, because in the islands, your right to carry arms is not automatic, and if you are caught, you will face severe punishment, and there is nothing the US government can do about it.  There are several tourists charged and awaiting a ruling in their cases.  There is also a Grand Turk businesswoman who was arrested for a single bullet in her luggage.  While all of these matters are shocking and drawing public calls for leniency, as far as the law goes, everyone charged under it is headed to prison for 12 years.

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Caribbean News

More than 300 murders in Jamaica since 2024

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

Jamaica has recorded 311 murders since the start of 2024 as of April 13, across the 19 police divisions according to the latest crime statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force. However, despite the amount of murders, this is a decrease of 14 percent compared to the same time last year.

The divisions with the highest murder counts are: St James with 41, St. Catherine South, 29; Westmoreland, 28; St. Andrew South, 25; St. Ann, 21; and Clarendon, 21. Portland has the lowest with 2 murders.

Additionally, Rapes have declined by 37 percent and break-ins by six per cent.

Meanwhile, shootings have increased by three per cent and robberies one per cent, compared to the same time last year.

 

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Crime

Aggravated Burglary

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#TurksandCaicos, April 15, 2024 – The recent aggravated robbery targeting a five-member household is undoubtedly distressing for both the victims and the community at large.

Superintendent (Division A) Willet Harvey said, “Around 11:21 pm yesterday (April 14th) evening, the Police Control Room received a report that four masked males, three of whom were armed, entered a residence at New Subdivision, Grand Turk, and proceeded to rob the occupants.

The armed suspects managed to flee the scene on foot and escaped.

“Following the report, officers were dispatched to the scene, conducted extensive searches and interviewed individuals. Based on the information received, we are actively pursuing several leads that will lead to arrests in the shortest possible time.

“The incident highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and proactively safeguarding homes and families. I advise people to enhance their home security by locking doors and windows when inside, investing in a CCTV system, and ensuring adequate outdoor lighting. Should you have any information on this burglary or illegal activities in Grand Turk, please call 946-2299. ”

The RTCIPF asks 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 and share information.

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