Two years after the decomposed body of Marcelle Smith of Farm Road St Philip was found in a ravine at Halton Plantation in the same parish, her family is today expressing fears that there may never be justice for their loved one.
The decomposed body of the 75-year-old sister-in-law of Sir Frederick Smith, who has since died, was discovered in late October 2015 after she had been missing for 12 days.
Cheriss Omar Ince, a 38-year-old carpenter of Nursery #2 Four Roads, St Philip is currently on remand at HMP Dodds for the murder, which he is alleged to have committed while on bail in connection with a previous murder charge.
Speaking on behalf of the Smith family, Marcelle’s son Roger Smith told Barbados TODAY they were concerned that a number of people connected to the case had died while Ince continues to be held on remand.
Roger named their father Aurie Smith, then Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for crime Livingstone Eversley, Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock and Ince’s son Jaquan Turney as those who have passed away since his mother’s killing.
“Marcelle Smith’s family remains concerned that as time passes and people directly involved with this cases move on, information and witnesses will no longer be available,” he said, adding that they were also worried that the man accused of murdering his mum would again be released on bail.
However, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Blackman assured the Smiths that provisions had been made in the Evidence Act to deal with such situations.
“So I don’t think at this stage there is any need to fear as it relates to persons dying,” Blackman told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.
He also disclosed that his department had taken steps to speed up the case by filing a voluntary bill of indictment that, if successful, would result in the case going directly to the High Court, thereby avoiding the preliminaries before the Magistrates’ Court.
Blackman said he was not in a position to say when the High Court would hear the application for speeding up the case.
Meantime, Ince’s attorney Marlon Gordon admitted that his client had applied for bail, while telling Barbados TODAY he was not sure when the trial in the Marcelle Smith case would start.
Gordon revealed that a DNA expert from abroad was being hired by the state to provide specialist testimony in the Smith murder trial. The autopsy on her body was also done by a special forensic pathologist from overseas who found that she was strangled to death. The car which she was driving when she went missing was found abandoned near Chelston Park, St Michael and Ince was initially charged with stealing the $14,000 vehicle.