On February 1, 2017, 13 days before former banker Randy Lawrence was shot and killed at Arnos Vale, the police held a meeting with Lawrence and the accused, Junior Jarvis, at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
That’s according to the evidence of the Head of the CID, Supt. Clauson Francis, who was Assistant Supt., and second-in-command of CID in 2017.
Jarvis, a former journalist and Public Relations Consultant is being tried at the High Court Criminal Assizes, on multiple charges in connection with the February 14, 2017 shooting death of Randy Lawrence, a then 39-year-old employee of the Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Jarvis is charged with the murder of Lawrence; the attempted murder of Josette Smith and Arisha Pompey both of Arnos Vale; entering the home of Josette Smith as a trespasser, and at the time, had in his possession a weapon of offence, to wit, a gun, assaulted Pompey causing her bodily harm; using force to compel Pompey to go from one place to another; using a firearm to aid in the commission of the offence of abduction; and using a firearm to aid in the commission of the offence of murder.
In his testimony on Wednesday, the third day of the trial, Supt. Francis told the Court that he was stationed at CID on February 1, 2017, when Lawrence came and reported against Jarvis for sending threatening words to him via WhatsApp.
Francis said he instructed Sergeant Desrine Daize, now a Station Sergeant, to entertain the report and record a written statement from Lawrence which he did.
According to Francis, Lawrence had indicated that he just wanted the police to warn Jarvis not to obstruct him in the future.
Francis said that based on what Lawrence reported, he instructed Daize to summon Lawrence and Jarvis to a meeting with him.
This was done, and they met the same day. “They came willingly, and I sat with them,” the CID Chief said, adding that Jarvis admitted that he used threatening words, and promised not to do it again.
“The accused said he believed the deceased was having an affair with his girlfriend, but the deceased said he was not having an affair with his girlfriend, he was just giving her a ride home on evenings,” Francis told the Court. He admitted there was some heated cross-talk between Lawrence and Jarvis at one point during the conversation but he was able to control the exchange.
Francis said that at the end of the conversation he asked the men to shake hands but while Lawrence agreed, Jarvis refused.
In her cross-examination of the CID Chief, Jarvis’ attorney Kay Bacchus-Baptiste told Francis, “I am putting it to you that the way you dealt with that situation in your office, you escalated the problem.”
Francis refuted this.
“That you were completely one-sided on the side of the deceased. He (Lawrence) did nothing wrong as far as you are concerned,” the lawyer continued.
“In your estimation, in that meeting, did Randy Lawrence do anything wrong?” Bacchus-Baptiste asked.
“He did not do anything wrong, in accordance with the law,” Francis replied and noted that both men conducted themselves well.
“Did the accused complain to you that Randy Lawrence told him that he (Lawrence) was a member of the Firearms Association, and could shoot him (Jarvis)?” Bacchus-Baptiste asked.
“No please, my lord,” Francis answered.
“Are you aware that Randy Lawrence was a member of the Firearms Association?”
“No please, my lord,” Francis again answered.
“Did Randy Lawrence say in a disrespectful way that he (Jarvis) cannot satisfy his girlfriend?” the lawyer asked.
“It was not said in a disrespectful way,” Francis responded.
“And you, with your feet up on your table, told him (Jarvis) to go and exercise, and that you (Francis) at 47 years old, don’t have a penis problem?” Bacchus-Baptiste continued.
But Francis denied saying this.
“You then asked him (Jarvis)to shake the deceased’s (Randy) hand,” Bacchus-Baptiste suggested.
“I asked both of them to shake hands,” Francis said.
“I am putting it to you that Randy Lawrence disrespected him (Jarvis), and he never repented for it,” Bacchus-Baptiste told Francis.
When Bacchus-Baptiste asked Francis whether Jarvis was charged with making threats, the Supt. said no, and when the lawyer asked him if making threats was an offence, he replied in the affirmative.
Up to press time Thursday, in addition to Francis, the Court had heard the evidence from crime scene specialist Constable Joel Williams, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frankie Joseph, Inspector Henry Providence, and former head of the Major Crime Unit (MCU), Inspector Atland Browne. Browne was still on the stand at press time.
The case for the crown is led by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Sejilla Mcdowall, assisted by Crown Counsel Rene Simmonds, and attorney Richie Maitlald.
Bacchus-Baptiste is leading the case for the defence. She is assisted by Ronnia Durham-Balcombe.
A 12-member jury, comprised of eight women and four men, is hearing the matter over which Justice Brian Cottle presides.
Source: The Vincentian