Nineteen-year-old Henry Depeiza Lewis was yesterday remanded to HMP Dodds, a mere six days after being released from the St Philip penal institution.
Lewis, of 8th Ave New Orleans, St Michael appeared before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant on 11 theft and traffic charges – the majority of which occurred on September 28.
The unemployed man is accused of stealing a car belonging to George Small, valued at $54, 000, on that date. He was not required to plead to the indictable offence.
Lewis is also charged with entering Marcelle Alleyne’s house and stealing two pairs of earrings worth $950, two cellular phones worth $200, a leather bag worth $420, and $7 in cash. He pleaded not guilty.
Lewis also said he was not guilty of entering Ronald Hinds’ house and stealing a $99 cellular phone belonging to Euleen Hinds.
The teenager is also charged with entering the home of Cheryl Jordan on September 27 and stealing a laptop valued $500, an external CD drive valued $60, a laptop bag worth $40, a pair of earrings worth $150, a $180 chain, and a cellular phone worth $150 belonging to Ryan Jordan.
Lewis, who was groaning in pain as he appeared in court – a result, he said, of being shot – is also facing seven traffic charges.
Among them are: driving a motor vehicle through “no entry” signs on Swan Street and Roebuck Street, driving without due care and attention, driving without a licence, failing to stop the vehicle as close as possible to the left side of the road on the approach of a police vehicle sounding its siren on Palmetto Street, and driving without reasonable consideration for other persons using Swan Street.
Lewis, who pleaded not guilty to all those charges, questioned the magistrate whether all these offences could have taken place on September 28 – the day Tropical Storm Matthew passed the island.
“Ma’am on the 28th was a storm. I was not fit to be outside. On the 28th I had an altercation with the police around 9 a.m. in Reed Street ma’am . . . Police come beat me, I get shot in my foot,” the accused said.
“Mr Lewis, why did you ask me about whether these [offences occurred] on the 28th, when the 28th keeps coming up?” Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant responded.
“The storm coming too, but it ain’t come yet. They call me outside . . . . I see about 50 police officers. First thing they shoot me, then I blank out. I blank out ’bout four times ma’am . . . and quick so I find myself at the station at the Glebe . . . . and I see all these charge sheets all pun the 28th . . . How all of that could have happen?” Lewis further queried.
“Ma’am, that got me concerned ‘cause I now start my life over, I now get a job . . . going on a straight path . . . I got a child to support, I got myself to support . . . and now I back here in this court with all these charges.
“This can’t be right that at 19 years old I got all these charges ma’am. I can’t believe this. This ain’t right. I deserve a chance. I come home on the 22 of September . . . the storm was on the 28th, it was really a storm for truth cause all of this would have to be a storm . . . Give me a chance this morning, ma’am. Today is the 3rd. Start the 3rd with a new, New Year,” the accused pleaded.
But the magistrate remanded him into custody until October 31.
However, he will reappear in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court on October 7, to where the seven traffic offences have been transferred.