Nov 9 committal hearing for triple murder accused
The St James Parish Court has set a committal hearing date of November 9 in the case of 28-year-old Wesley Reid, who is charged in connection with a triple murder in Roehampton, St James.
The hearing will determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to transfer the case from the parish court to circuit court.
He is jointly charged with his brother Knitson Reid with three counts of murder, possession of a prohibited weapon, and using a firearm to commit a felony.
The brothers were charged in connection with an incident that took place at a section of the Roehampton community known as Mars, off Gaza Lane. It resulted in the deaths of three cousins: 38-year-old supermarket worker Conroy “Beenie” Lawrence, shopkeeper Chevon “Kong” Gordon, and 50-year-old Carleslie “Shotta” Morris.
Wesley Reid received the committal hearing date when he appeared before presiding judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley on Friday, and his bail was extended until November 9.
Meanwhile, the court was told that the case file for Knitson Reid was substantially complete, so a committal hearing date could not be set for him.
He was remanded in police custody and is also scheduled to appear in court again on November 9.
Police said that about 9:20 pm on June 2, residents reportedly heard explosions and alerted them.
Upon their arrival, Gordon and Lawrence were seen lying beside a shop with chop wounds to their heads while Morris was seen nearby with gunshot wounds.
Cuban woman convicted of immigration breach; sentencing Nov 13
A Cuban national accused of presenting a Cuban passport and alien registration certificate to apply for an extension of stay for her husband, has been found guilty.
Presiding judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley found Ariadna Perez Lopez guilty of two counts of uttering a forged document in the St James Parish Court on Friday. However, she will have to wait another six weeks to find out what fate has in store for her.
Throughout the proceedings, Lopez’s demeanour demonstrated a sense of calm and poise as the judge responded to the prosecution’s case.
On July 12, her legal counsel, Michael Hemmings, filed a no-case submission in which he stated that the Crown presented no evidence that she knowingly uttered the forged documents with the intent to deceive.
The attorney also referred to the testimony of Marie Lue, deputy director of Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration, and Citizenship Agency (PICA), who stated in her testimony that she could distinguish between authentic and fraudulent stamps based on her 22 years of experience, on-the-job training, and special training to reach an informed conclusion that a stamp is fraudulent.
The security manager’s testimony was also highlighted, in which he stated that he was able to determine the authenticity of a document due to his years of experience and training, as well as the use of machinery, and who agreed that a lay person could obtain a certificate of registration and be unaware that the stamps endorsed are fraudulent.
Before delivering her verdict, Smith-Ashley emphasised that Lopez’s familiarity with the process and previous genuine extensions indicated a level of understanding and awareness of the legal requirements.
According to the judge, the procedure was not followed, an application was not submitted, an interview was not conducted, and there is no record of her visiting the office, contrary to what she indicated in her statement.
“I find that from all the circumstances there is a reasonable and inescapable inference of guilty knowledge… I find that she knew the endorsement and stamp were forged… I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of that, and so I find her guilty on both counts,” Smith-Ashley said.
The judge described the situation as sad, because she had been in Jamaica since she was young, and her mother has status in Jamaica and she could not understand why her situation was not rectified.
The judge then requested a social enquiry report and postponed sentencing until November 13. Lopez’s bail was extended.
According to the allegations presented to the court, on January 10, Lopez presented a Cuban passport and alien registration certificate to PICA in Montego Bay, St James to regularise her husband’s status and fraudulent stamps were discovered inside both documents.
Three St James citizens are in the process of making full restitution after they deceived a Montego Bay businessman in a cheque scam, duping him out of more than $2.1 million.
The defendants, Damion Green, Nathaniel Headley and Loraine Ferguson, had gone through restorative justice and agreed to pay the complainant $300,000 on the first of each month.
In a previous hearing, the complainant told the court that the defendants were taking too long to make full restitution.
During the hearing in the St James Parish Court on Friday, Headley handed over $29,000, Green handed over $20,000 and Ferguson handed over $15,000, although the complainant was not present in court. It is unclear how much money is still owed.
After the funds were handed over to the court, presiding judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley rescheduled the case for October 30 and extended the defendants’ bails.
Headley allegedly went to a Montego Bay business establishment on December 22, 23, and 29 last year to encash cheques in the name of Anthony Williams, then returned on December 30 to encash four more cheques, which aroused the complainant’s suspicions.
All of the cheques were later discovered to be fraudulent.
Headley admitted to the complainant that he was not Anthony Williams and that the driver’s licence he used to encash the cheques was similarly forged. He also confessed that the proceeds from the earlier transactions were split between him, Green, and another defendant who was cleared of the charge in a previous court appearance.
It is alleged that the link was made through Ferguson, who was employed to the company and had access to the company’s cheques.