Extenuating circumstances were not enough to keep 22-year-old Jonell Ryan Dorrel Williams from being remanded and taking a ride to HMP Dodds today albeit in the institution’s ambulance.
Looking pained and supported by crutches, the Block 5B Division Drive, Eden Lodge, St Michael resident who was shot by police on February 17, 2019 appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court today charged with committing four criminal offences.
In court, his left leg taped with gauze and stretched out on a chair, the accused listened as Magistrate Douglas Frederick read the first charge that he was in possession of a firearm without the necessary licence on February 17. He was not required to plead to that indictable offence and entered not guilty pleas to the offences of assaulting Duane Griffith, Markinson Chandler and Jamal Williams on the same day.
Station Sergeant Carison Henry objected to bail because of the serious nature of the offences, allegations that a firearm was used and the fact the offences stemmed from the same incident.
However Williams’ attorneys-at-law Douglas Trotman, Veronica McFarlane and Ricardo Harrison argued that their client could be granted bail in the Magistrates’ Court given the manner in which the charges were proffered.
“If the charges are taken at face value . . . all these charges are bailable of offences . . . . Be guided by the circumstances, by the position that the accused man is in,” Trotman said adding “he is a guy who attends church, works two jobs and is known as a good person in the community.”
Trotman went to say that the charges before the court were “mere allegations” and his client needed to be on bed rest and “cannot bear weight on his left leg for ten to 16 weeks. Police have had him since March 8 and [ I ask that you] consider all the circumstances [including] that he is not known.”
He added: “He has had hip surgery to remove the bullet and had two bolts in . . . Her Majesty’s Prisons is not the best place for this young man. This young man cannot run anywhere and do anything to anybody. The court currently has the same jurisdiction like the High Court [to grant bail] as to how the charges have been laid.”
However, Magistrate Frederick made it clear that he was guided by law and despite the extenuating circumstances the defence had to go before the High Court with regards to the firearm offence. The defence trio informed him that they already had the necessary paperwork to go to the High Court.
Frederick then granted $5,000 bail to the accused on the three assault charges, which he secured with one surety.
Williams who was wearing yellow and white shorts and a grey and white shirt was then remanded to Dodds prison until April 8. However he had to get the help of several prison officers to get out of the No. 1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court. It took several minutes for him to get out the court and down the steps grunting in pain before he was placed into the waiting ambulance and transported to the St Philip institution.
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