Former police officer Ettian Charles who was among four men charged with the 2018 murder of Security Guard Rodney George of Victoria Village, was cleared of that charge on Wednesday.
As the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) entered its final stages at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delpleche agreed with Charles’ Attorney Grant Connell’s submission that there was no evidence to make out a prima facie case against Charles.
As a result, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett discharged Charles on the murder charge.
The Magistrate reserved his decision on the other men, Glenville Harry of Vermont along with Jerome Ollivierre and Ulric Hanson, both of Mayreau, until July 8 when he will rule on the no case submissions from Harry’s Attorney Vynette Frederick and Hanson who is unrepresented.
Attorney Kensha Theobalds who held the fort for Attorney Israel Bruce on behalf of Ollivierre, made no submissions.
The four were charged with murdering George between August 31 and September 1, 2018, as well as entering the GEC Auto Supplies building at Arnos Vale between August 31 and September 1, 2018 and stealing EC$2,074 in cash, the property of Gevandean Wilson, the owner of the business.
The Senior Magistrate will also give his ruling on the burglary charge on July 8, in respect of all four men. Both matters were heard in one Preliminary Inquiry.
When the Prosecution rested its case on Wednesday, Connell submitted that there was absolutely no evidence against Charles that he was ever part of any enterprise to commit the act of murder, and therefore, at this juncture, the prosecution had failed to make out a prima facie case on the charge of murder against his client.
He indicated, however, that the prosecution may cross that hurdle on the burglary charge.
However, while the Senior Prosecutor agreed with Connell that there was no evidence up to that juncture to make out a prima facie case against Charles on the murder charge, he did not agree with the no case submissions made by Frederick on behalf of Harry, and that of Hanson.
Hanson made his own submission, as he was unrepresented.
In Delpleche’s view, there was enough evidence so far for a prima facie case to be made out against Harry, Ollivierre and Hanson on the murder charge. The trio will know their fate on July 8.
Speaking with THE VINCENTIAN following the proceeding, Connell said, “Whatever action resulted in a charge of this nature, had nothing to do with my client”.
George’s body, with throat slit, was discovered in the building of GEC Auto Supplies on the morning of September 1. He was 50.
The P.I started at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court earlier this year. The Prosecution called several witnesses, including the investigator, Inspector Sherol James who testified on Tuesday.
Charles was a Constable at the time of the incident (The Vincentian)