Youngsters accused of Government Road shooting denied of bail at the Magistrate’s Court

By:St. Clair Sazam Hull

(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-The ‘District C’ Magistrate Court in Charlestown resumed its sitting on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 before Her Honor, Yasmine Clarke.

Two Bath Village residents, Jelani Howell and Kyle Tweed appeared before the Court. The defendants were seeking to be released on bail after they were jointly charged with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and attempted murder. It was alleged that on Saturday April 17, 2016, both men fired a number of gunshots at Kishanda Clarke and Dylon White at Government Road.

Clarke was wounded in the process and was admitted to the Alexandra Hospital where he received treatment. Howell and Tweed were arrested and charged and have been held on remand at Her Magistrate Prison in St. Kitts.

Jelani Howell was represented by Attorney Ms. Mickia Mills who put forward the bail application. The lawyer told Magistrate Clarke, that the accused had no previous conviction before the Court prior to the current matter. She stated that although he had some issues as a minor, he has been a very careful and law abiding young man and the charges that were brought before the Court are uncharacteristic of him.

Ms. Mills pointed out, that the previous encounter that the accused had with the law, was not similar to the matter with which he was currently charged. She also indicated that the accused currently resides with his mother and both have a very close relationship. Mills stated that Howell contributes immensely to the household, and will be under proper supervision if bail was granted.

The lawyer also noted, that the defendant was currently employed by the Nevis Electricity Company Limited (NEVLEC) and by all reports, is a very obedient person. Ms. Mills continued, “He was on the Pep program and did so well that NEVLEC decided to employ him as a fulltime worker of their own”. She additionally indicated that the accused was prepared to surrender his travel documents and be placed on a curfew. In conclusion, Mills urged the Magistrate to take the above mentioned into consideration as she contemplated her decision.

Ms. Saundra Hector presented the bail application on behalf of Kyle Tweed. She told the Court, that Kyle is twenty two years of age and resides in the close knit community of Bath and has good social ties. She indicated that Tweed is at the stage in the dawn of his adult life, and it was extremely unfortunate that he was charged with such serious offences at this stage in his life. Hector noted, that every accused man has a constitutional entitlement and the defendant comes before the Court unblemished. She pointed out, that the mere fact that the accused was unknown to the Court; gives a clear indication that he is a person of good character.

The lawyer also stated, that Mr. Tweed lives with one whom he considers to be his second mother, Ms. Carmen Herbert and his girlfriend. She indicated, that the defendant’s biological mother is currently living in St. Kitts and is employed with the St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services and if he moves to St. Kitts to live with his mother, he can report to the Tabernacle Police Station. Hector opined that these three women are of integrity and goodwill. In closing, Hector humbly urged the Court not to derail Tweed of his constitutional entitlement.

Police Prosecutor, Mr. Stephen Hector indicated that the charges brought before the court against the defendants were very serious. He pointed out that when one looks at the nature of the offences, they were done with some degree of calculation. He also stated that much was said about Kyle Tweed’s social ties, but the court will have to draw its own conclusions. Hector was also of the view, that even if the defendants were placed on a curfew, there was no assurance that it will deter them from repeating what they did.

Her Honor, Magistrate Clarke denied both applicants bail noting that the offences were extremely dangerous and can reoccur. However, she indicated that the application for bail could be made at the High Court.

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