Eighteen-year-old Justin Shemar Greene who went on a burglary spree last month “needs saving” and is “not entitled to walk about” for the time being, Magistrate Douglas Frederick has said.
The District ‘A’ Court magistrate made the comments after the Greene’s attorney Martie Garnes made an application for bail on his behalf as he awaits sentencing.
The teen who lives at Ridgeway, Pine, St Michael had earlier pleaded guilty to entering the home of Crystal Trotman on January 5 as a trespasser and stealing an $85 gas bottle and on January 28 stealing a $400 television as well as a $400 laptop. He also admitted to damaging a $550 window belonging to the complainant who is his neighbor.
Greene further confessed to entering the home of Seon Jacobs on January 31 and stealing a quantity of food items worth $35.59; taking two batteries worth $500 belonging to the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) on January 30 and stealing $535 cash – “lotto money” – belonging to Cynthia Gooding on January 13.
He however told Magistrate Frederick he was not guilty of the charge of stealing a $480 battery belonging to the SSA on September 26, 2019.
In many of the cases the complainants left their homes secured only to return to discover that they had been burglarized.
Greene’s lawyer in addressing the court described his client’s offences as “opportunistic crimes” adding that they were not planned.
“He is 18 years old and has lived a very unfortunate life. He is currently using cocaine and “you do things that you don’t usually do”. Garnes said he committed the acts and sold the items in order to feed his habit and help his mother. “He is not a person of bad character,” he told the court.
The lawyer requested that his client be given the opportunity to go to Verdun House but Magistrate Frederick told him “We are not there yet.”
Frederick explained that a report on the first-time offender was needed in order to get an indication of how to assist him.
“He can’t go home today because he is on a rampage. Although he is a first-time offender a pre-sentencing report is needed,” the magistrate stated.
But Garnes added: “Psychi [Psychiatric Hospital] will be a better place to send my client than prison” causing the magistrate to explain why a social inquiry was critical at this stage.
“He is on a spree that we need to save him from. We need to find out what is the root cause. He is a first-time offender but he is not entitled to walk about because of these crimes,” Frederick added as he called the young offender’s mother to the stand.
“He is not a bad person,” said the mother who revealed that Greene had been using cocaine from age 15. She also disclosed that she had tried to get him help before
He has been remanded until March 5.