Accused killer of schoolboys denied bail
MONTEGO BAY, St James – Despite his attorney’s pleas, a man charged in connection with four murders in Salt Spring, St James, including the slaying of two schoolboys, was denied bail when he appeared in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday.
Charged with four counts of murder, two counts of shooting with intent, possession of a prohibited weapon, and using a firearm to commit a felony is 26-year-old Travis Tummings, otherwise called “Chi Chi”.
He is charged with the murders of seven-year-old Justin Perry and nine-year-old Nahcoliva Smith; Tevin “Bancel” Hayle, 26; and 47-year-old Anthony Forbes, otherwise called “Plait Up”. All four are from Salt Spring. Tummings is being represented by attorney Adrian Dayes.
The murder of the two schoolboys and Hayle, suspected to be the intended target, drew howls of protest from large swathes of the society. Prime Minister Andrew Holness gave a commitment that the killer would be caught and brought to book. Two days later, St James was placed under a state of public emergency. Tummings was charged with three counts of murder on November 25. A week later he was charged with the fourth killing.
On Wednesday, the prosecution objected to bail and said that Tummings was allegedly a member of a gang.
Dayes, on the other hand, argued that there were insufficient grounds to say his client would fail to return to court and that there was nothing to suggest he would interfere with witnesses or commit an offence while on bail.
Dayes also questioned the amount of time the witness had to look at the shooter.
“People who know people can make mistakes,” the attorney argued.
Dayes also claimed that his client was exposed three times after being taken out of his cell on each occasion.
Additionally, the attorney said that his client had indicated he was at another location during the time in question.
“He said he was in a bar at the time, and has alibis were there with him,” said the attorney.
Presiding Judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley stated that while the matter of identification was an issue, she was of the view that Tummings would re-offend and was not a suitable candidate for bail. She also stated that she needs his alibi information as well as his antecedents.
Tummings was remanded in custody until February 1, 2024.
According to the police, about 5:20 pm on November 6, a taxi operator was driving his grey 2006 motorcar from Salt Spring heading to Montego Bay with Perry and Smith on board.
Hayle reportedly stopped the vehicle and asked for a ride to his house. As Hayle entered the car, a man armed with a rifle immediately exited bushes on the right side of the road and opened gunfire at the vehicle, hitting him, Smith and Perry in their heads and upper bodies.
Regarding Forbes’s murder, police report that about 1:10 am on October 27, Tummings and his accomplices broke into Forbes’s house, opening gunfire at him before escaping in the area.
Forbes was assisted to hospital where he was pronounced dead.