A change in attorney of record in the closely watched missing police weapons case has facilitated an interesting change in Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne’s sentencing schedule of the two men who pled guilty to (most of) the charges laid against them.
Both Avi King and Meshach Dublin were to be sentenced on July 15, but the Serious Offenses Court granted Jomo Thomas, Dublin’s new defense counsel, an earlier date to the previously deferred sentencing.
The men are being held on remand even as the other two co-accused – Myron Samuel of Layou and former police constable Zackerie Latham of New Grounds – pled not guilty and were able to secure bail.
Thomas, though sparing with the details regarding the new defense strategy, did say, “he [Dublin] comes to court on Monday. It’s yet too early to tell” whether or not a plea change may be in the offering.
The duo was expected back in Court together on Friday 23 July when the facts of the matter would have been read to them before the Chief Magistrate detailed their sentencing.
Thomas, who replaced Grant Connel, explained,“I asked the court to put it for Monday because I am burying my uncle on Friday.”
Avi King will face the Court’s mercy one day later as an application was also made to have his sentencing move up the Serious Offences Court’s calendar. Fortunately for him he is no longer unrepresented as a young friend of the Court appeared on his behalf last Tuesday. When charged he pled guilty to having “entered the Georgetown Police Station as a trespasser” to burglarize the precinct amongst other charges.
All told some 20 criminal charges have been laid against the quartet.
Latham, for his alleged involvement was arraigned under suspicion that he trespassed into the Georgetown Police Station armory and stole $250 worth of .40mm ammunition – sometime between January 1 and April 1, 2021. He was slapped with an additional theft charge which alleges that he stole some 250 rounds of .40mm ammo contained in three boxes.
Latham was also indicted for supposedly corruptly receiving property for himself on account of an action which he exercised in the discharge of the duties of his office sometime between Jan. 31 and June 17, 2021, at Georgetown, being employed in the government service as a member of the Royal SVG Police Force and being entrusted with the performance of duties by virtue of his employment.
Latham, King and Dublin were jointly arraigned for offences ranging from the alleged possession of criminal property, to wit, EC$3,200 in cash, which they knew or suspected in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents the proceed of criminal conduct, to the supposed possession of several firearms of varying makes and models along with a notable quantity of .40mm ammo.
The trio was also indicted on criminal allegations that on June 17, 2021, at Kingstown, not being licensed firearm dealers, they sold one magazine with 15 rounds of .40mm ammunition to Myron Samuel, of Layou.
King and Latham were paired on prohibited weapon charges which also alleged that they had in their possession, one M-4 rifle, without the authorisation of the minister. They were also charged for illegally possessing at least 3 different Glock pistols.
Dublin pleaded guilty to the M-4 rifle and Glock 22 possession charges while Myron Samuel, former national footballer, entered a not guilty plea when charged with the criminal offence of receiving a Glock 22 pistol and 15 rounds of .40mm ammunition which he knew or had cause to believe were stolen goods, on June 17.
Samuel was also charged for possessing one Glock .22 pistol and 15 rounds of .40mm ammo without a license issued under the Firearms Act.
The not guilty pleas triggered trials which were set in separate Courts by the Chief Magistrate. Zackerie Latham would appear before Magistrate Bertie Pompey at the Colonaire Magistrate’s Court while Myron Samuel would have his day at the Serious Offences Court on July 20.