Dominica to appoint special prosecutor for murder case involving hoteliers
ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Tuesday said a special prosecutor will be appointed to deal with the murders of Canadian-born hoteliers, Daniel Langlois and Dominique Marchard, as he urged the public to avoid “wild speculations” regarding their deaths.
Two American nationals have been remanded into custody until March 24 next year, after they appeared in a magistrate’s court on December 6, in connection with the murders of the two hoteliers, whose charred remains were found in a burnt out vehicle on December 1, 2023.
American businessman, Jonathan Lehrer, 57, and his co-accused Robert Thomas Snider Jr have been charged with two counts of murder .
The prosecution alleges that between November 29 and December 2, 2023, the two Americans murdered Langlois and his partner, whose killings shocked the south west community of Soufriere, where the two Canadian nationals owned and operated the Coulibri Ridge Resort.
The Americans were not required to enter a plea since murder is an indictable offence and can only be tried before a judge and jury at the High Court.
Skerrit told a news conference that he wanted to “commend the Dominica police for their professional approach to the investigations thus far,” adding”I have every confidence in the justice system to administer this matter fairly and above board.
“I have seen no evidence so far to the contrary and I believe all involved have acted within the confines of the law and with the highest degree of integrity. I urge us all to be level headed in our discussions of this matter. Let us avoid wild speculation and the spreading of false information which can do more harm than good,” Skerrit told reporters, adding “I have also directed that a special prosecutor be brought in to help prosecute this case to ensure greater possibility of success in the prosecution”.
Earlier Skerrit said he was “shocked and sad” at the killings, whom he described as “true friends of Dominica,” who contributed much to our country’s development, particularly in the Soufriere, Scottshead area.
“Through their efforts many were provided with jobs and their example of sustainable development served as an inspiration for us all in our pursuit of energy independence and a climate resilience agenda”, he said.
Skerrit said he was thankful that the government had been able to honour Langlois with a national award during last month’s independence celebrations, adding that |their generosity to Dominica and its people knew no bounds”.