Six murder accused went before the High Court today wanting to plead guilty to manslaughter.
Included were three charged with two separate murders who now want to plead guilty to the lesser count.
Murder accused Applon Ishmael Ithamar Parris, 27, of Taitt’s Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael who is charged with the March 26, 2018 stabbing death of Police Constable Shayne Welch told the court he was among those ready to admit to manslaughter.
Brothers Chris Amal Lorde, 31, of No. 31 Newton Terrace, Christ Church and Eddisa Deon Mitchell, 23, of 2nd Avenue, Thomas Gap, President Kennedy Drive, St Michael, accused of the death of businessman Colin Forde, 50, who was gunned down on May 10, 2016 on the steps of his business at Baxter’s Road, The City also want to go a similar route.
The three made their intentions known in the No. 2 Supreme Court this morning as the status hearings for inmates on remand at Dodds continued before Justice Randall Worrell for the second straight day.
The men were among 20 who appeared at the Whitepark Road, St Michael court complex today.
In Lorde and Mitchell’s case, Senior Crown Counsel Olivia Davis informed the judge that the brothers were scheduled to be arraigned to plead before the No. 5 Supreme Court on June 28 and she was preparing to indict their case. The men, who have Safiya Moore as their legal counsel, stated that they wanted to plead guilty to manslaughter.
Applon meanwhile, told Justice Worrell his file was at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but he wanted to plead guilty to manslaughter. He also questioned whether he could plead to a serious bodily harm charge, which was committed to the High Court from the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court last year. In that case he is accused of causing serious bodily harm to Antonio Coco Todd on February 15, 2017 with intent to maim, disfigure or disable him or to cause some serious bodily harm to him.
He will get another status hearing on July 31.
Three other murder-accused also signalled intentions to plead guilty to manslaughter.
Seventy-five-year Sylvester Nelson, who previously resided at a senior citizens home in Vauxhall, Christ Church told the High Court judge: “I am guilty for what I have done and I would like you to sentence me today.”
However, he was informed that his matter needed to follow procedure in the form of an indictment.
Attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens, who is representing the accused as a friend of the court, informed Worrell that there was no file in Nelson’s matter and he would need to get legal aide.
Meanwhile, there is an indictment in the capital case against Emmerson Hurdle, 46, of Gall Hill Land, St John, who says he has been on remand for the past seven years.
“I would like to plead guilty to get it over it,” Hurdle stated but the judge made it clear “this was not a get over with it court”.
Murder accused Floyd Leacock, 47, of Clifton Hill, St James was only charged in February this year and wished to plead guilty to manslaughter.
However, his attorney Marlon Gordon informed the judge that his client’s case was still before the magistrates’ court at the sufficiency hearing stage. Gordon said now that he knows of Leacock’s intentions: “I will make every effort to have that facilitated”.
Thirty-three-year-old Shane Ifill, of 4th Avenue New Orleans, St Michael who says he has been on remand for almost six years declared “I come here to plead guilty now sir”. He is on firearm and violent disorder charges.
Three non-nationals were also among today’s group of 20. Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas was the second prosecutor at the sitting.
However, 33-year-old Jamaican Bassonia McDermoth, who is charged for having counterfeit money, has already pleaded guilty and was just waiting on getting a pre-sentencing report done. Thirty-year-old Guyanese Andrew Mullins, who is facing cannabis charges, is in the same situation as McDermoth while Dave Peters, a 27-year-old from Arima, Trinidad who has been on remand for the past two years says he wants to plead guilty to drug charges.
So far Justice Worrell has gotten information from 37 inmates and is getting ready to hear the status of the cases against 17 more tomorrow.