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American MICHAEL LEE EVANS sentencing June 19, Prosecutor sides with Defence on Prison Time

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Wilkie Arthur
Eagle Legal News Media

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 4, 2024 – Mr. Oliver Smith KC told her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson said that “to sentence his 72 year old terminally ill client to prison, would be passing a death sentence on him.”

Last week on Tuesday May 29th in the Supreme Court before her Ladyship The Hon Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson, in the criminal case against the oldest American that is charged before the court for ammunition possession in the Turks and Caicos, came up for sentencing submissions.

MICHAL LEE EVANS of Texas is one of three Americans awaiting sentencing in the controversial cases, which have spawned numerous headlines.

Attorney Smith did not pull any punches and during his argument landed some serious blows when bringing to light the facts of the matter in the case of his client who was a very ill man.

Smith argued that under no circumstances should EVANS be sent to prison for the seven rounds of 9mm ammunition found in his luggage as he departed Turks and Caicos Howard Hamilton Providenciales International Airport on December 12th last year.

The court learned that in this particular case, the Prosecution, being the proper ministers of justice they are, did express and agree that this is a case of ‘exceptional circumstances.’

Ms. Roseanne Richardson, senior public prosecutor speaking on behalf of the office of the Director of Public Prosecution told her Ladyship that they are in full agreement with everything that KC Smith submitted on behalf of his client, however, they took exception to one point. That is, they do not agree and believe the Court has the power to suspend a sentence where the mandatory minimum is beyond two years imprisonment.

Senior Public Prosecutor Richardson informed that her submissions were, regardless of the finding of exceptional circumstances, the court cannot suspend the custodial sentence in cases where the mandatory minimum is beyond two years.

KC Smith strongly disagreed, but he wasn’t able to carry the Court to any law in support of his disagreement nor was he able to convince or persuade the learned Judge Lobban-Jackson that she was acting correctly by suspending sentences after finding exceptional circumstances and intends to sentence to two years or less.

However, having heard both sides and given the fact there was only one specific area that was in dispute “re: suspending of the sentences” the Court invited counsel for the prosecution to go with her to paragraph 126 of the Attorney General’s Reference handed down in February of this year and the judge expressed, it was in that section or paragraph where she is duly empowered to hand down suspended sentences where the Court finds exceptional circumstances and intends to sentence to two years and/or less than two years imprisonment.

The revelation left Roseanne Richardson with limited words following the evidenced validation by her Ladyship. The DPP’s Office rested on the point with, “I see my lady, and I am guided by the court.”

The matter is now adjourned to June 19 for the actual sentencing of accused, MICHAEL LEE EVANS of the United States.

It was not expressed at the close of the hearing if the defendant had to return from America on the 19th for his sentencing in person, though it was clearly laid out at his bail hearing that it was expected that Evans would have to attend sentencing in person.

At the May 29th proceeding, Evans, who was granted bail in December 2023 due to the fragile state of his health, attended court by video link.

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Tim and Henry to the Rescue: A Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Highlights Need for Marine Vessel in Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, July 12, 2024 – At approximately 2:45 pm on July 12th, a 911 emergency call came in from the police department in Grand Turk, informing Ed Forbes of a distressing situation. Four young adult tourists had gone out on paddle boards off Cork Tree Beach in Grand Turk, when one of them fell off the board and could not get back on. Evidently, they underestimated the wind speed and their own brute strength.

Ed Forbes, co-owner of Exclusive Escapes Grand Turk, played a pivotal role in coordinating the rescue. Responding swiftly to the emergency call, he immediately reached out to the local search and rescue team. His prompt actions and calm demeanor were instrumental in mobilizing the necessary resources.

Within 20 minutes or so, Tim from Emerald Escapes, along with Henry and Kindry from Blue Water Divers, were on the scene. Their experience and swift response were crucial in ensuring the safety of the stranded paddleboarders. Working seamlessly together, they managed to locate and rescue all four individuals without any need for medical attention.

However, this incident also underscores a critical issue that has long plagued Grand Turk: the need for a dedicated marine vessel for search and rescue operations and cruise passengers incidents. Despite numerous promises made to concerned citizens over the years, this vital resource remains unavailable.

The swift response of Tim, Henry, and Kingdry highlights the community’s resilience and dedication, but it also brings to light the gaps in emergency preparedness that could be addressed with better equipment and support.

A dedicated marine vessel would significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of rescue operations, ensuring that responses to such emergencies are even more effective.

Ed Forbes
Concerned Citizen

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Invest TCI Opens New Office in Grand Turk

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PRESS RELEASE

 

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 11th, 2024—Invest Turks and Caicos Islands (Invest TCI) proudly announces the launch of its new office in Grand Turk, located at the Digicel Building on Old Airport Road. The grand opening of the new location occurred on Friday, July 5th, 2024, under the theme “Empowering Enterprises in the Capital.”

The establishment of the new office marks a significant milestone in Invest TCI’s growth strategy. The primary objective of the expansion is to provide enhanced services and support to the business community in Grand Turk. By increasing operational capacity, Invest TCI aims to facilitate sustained growth and success for enterprises within the country.  Beyond economic advancement, this initiative is set to yield substantial community benefits, including the creation of employment opportunities.

The grand opening ceremony attracted a diverse range of attendees, including recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme, members of the business community, government officials, and Invest TCI staff. The event was moderated by Mr. Keno Forbes, Vice President of Investor Services. Special remarks were delivered by the Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, who congratulated the InvestTCI team on their hard work and encouraged the community to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additional remarks were provided by Invest TCI Chairperson, Ms. Cindy Ewing; Business Advisor, Ms. Lashena Simmons; Director of the Business Support Unit, Mrs. Anissa Adderley; and Vice President of SME, Ms. Alexa Cooper. Their contributions highlighted the collaborative effort and dedication that have driven the success of Invest TCI initiatives.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new office, Invest TCI CEO, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, stated, “Our vision is clear and compelling: to further empower Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, the agency offers incentives and support that enable more efficient and innovative practices. We are committed to helping businesses thrive, and in doing so, we are helping our entire community.”

Invest TCI recognizes the integral role that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises play in the economic and social development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its Business Support Unit, the agency provides comprehensive support services to startups and existing entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the tools and resources to succeed.

The grand opening of the new office in Grand Turk represents a significant step forward in Invest TCI’s mission to support and empower businesses across the islands. The agency looks forward to fostering economic growth and development and ensuring a prosperous future for all.

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LAST AMERICAN TOURIST SENTENCED TO A FINE OF $1500.00 OR SIX MONTHS IMPRISONMENT IN DEFAULT, SHE’S ALSO SENTENCED TO 23 WEEKS IMPRISONMENT SUSPENDED FOR ONE YEAR

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(Thursday, July 11th, 2024) Turk and Caicos Islands – The last of five American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for being in unlawful possession of  ammunition could finally leave the TCI today, Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Sharitta Grier 46 pleaded guilty on 25th June to having two rounds of.38 ammunition in her bags, at the Howard Hamilton International Airport in Providenciales on Monday 13th May, 2024, when leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands after a surprised Mother’s Day vacation trip, from her daughters.

Her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson agreed with senior defense counsel, Ms. Sheena Mair of F-Chambers that there are exceptional circumstancés in Grier’s case, by this, the court departed from the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment and ordered a lighter sentence of $1500.00 or Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid. She’s also sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.

Holding for the office of the Director of Public Prosecution via link was Dr. Angela Terry Brooks, deputy director of the DPP’S office.

The prosecution office did oppose exceptional circumstances and invited the court to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment.

A more detailed court report will follow.

Wilkie Arthur
Court Correspondent
Eagle Legal News Media

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