Another person charged in the 2008 murder of Leon Westerman

By: Gavincia Clarke

(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- A second person has been arrested and charged for the 2008 murder of 28 year old Leon ‘Gravo’ Westerman also known of ‘G-man’ of Low Street, Nevis.

On Friday, January 17, 2014 Asim ‘Wassie’ Parris of Stoney Grove was picked up by police officers in relation to Leon’s death. On Tuesday, January 21, 2014 he appeared before the District ‘C’ Magistrate Court and was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison.

Leon 'Gravo' Westerman
Leon ‘Gravo’ Westerman

Leon’s death was recorded as the first murder for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in 2008 and since his death the murder rate of the Federation has been spiraling out of control. Leon was gunned down by two masked men on January 28, 2008 inside a Spanish bar on the island main road. He was rushed to the Alexandra Hospital where he succumbed to the gunshot wounds.

Four years after the incident, Craig Halliday of St. Kitts was arrested and charged for his death. Commissioner of Police, Celvin G. Walwyn in an earlier interview, said that his arrest came about because of a ‘Cold Case Strategy’ that had been implemented by the Police Force.

Since his arrest, Halliday has been remanded at Her Majesty’s Prison, St. Kitts. Before the District ‘C’ Magistrate Court came to a close in December, Her Honor Magistrate Yasmine Clarke had instructed Police Prosecutor, Inspector Stephen Hector that she would like the matter involving Halliday to be brought to court in the New Year, along with other pending matters that have been tied up in the courts system for some time.

In March of last year Parris along with two others were freed of a murder charge after spending over 22 months incarcerated. Police Prosecution at the time had failed to provide sufficient evidence at the Preliminary Inquires (PI) stage to ensure a trial in the April 2013 Criminal Assizes. As a result all three men were freed of murder.

The trio was charged with the 2011 murder of Gary Smithen. Gary was gunned down on April 8, 2011 while at his job site at Pennyless Auto Parts. He succumbed to his injuries at the Alexandra Hospital. Six days after his murder police charged Asim Parris, Dustin Lapsey and Raphael Wallace for the crime.

Ten months after his release Parris, now 35, has found himself back in trouble with the law. This time in a murder that occurred in 2008. Parris will re-join his incarcerated friends Craig Halliday and Dustin Lapsey.

Lapsey is currently remanded for the murder of Antonio ‘Dollars’ Hutton who was murdered last year.

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