A former police officer, the son of a former cop and a man who has beat two murder charges, on Monday, appeared in court each charged with two counts of murder in relation to last week’s killing of a police constable and his brother.
The former police officer, Richard Francis, 32, a van driver from Layou, along with Kendene Douglas, and Schemel Dunbar, 29, both of Rillan Hill, appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne Matthias at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown.
They were each charged with the May 4, 2017 murder of Police Constable Danroy Cozier, 26, of Mesopotamia, and his younger brother, Nicholas Cozier, 19 of Richmond Hill.
The accused men are also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder, allegedly committed on May 4, 2017 at Rillan Hill
They were not required to plea to the indictable charges and were remanded in custody until Nov. 27, 2017 for the commencement of a preliminary inquiry.
Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told the court that the investigation would include forensic analysis, which has to be done overseas. He said this will take some time and, therefore, asked the court for a four to five-month adjournment.
He said detectives have already identified 12 witnesses, with more to come.
In setting the date for the commencement of a preliminary inquiry, Browne-Matthias expressed hope that the investigation would be completed expeditiously, noting that the court is still working with a timeline.
Constable Cozier was attached to the Mesopotamia Police Station.
The bodies of the Coziers were found in a green area under some trees at Sion Hill Bay sometime after noon last Thursday.
Information reaching iWitness News is that police believe that the bodies were dumped there after the brothers were killed elsewhere.
Police have offered no theories for the killing.
Francis, who is also known as “Carib”, is a former member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service, a unit of Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.
His father is a retired Coast Guard officer and an expert diver.
After leaving the Police Force, the younger Francis is said to have served in the British Army for just over a year before returning to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Up to the time of his arrest, he was the driver of a minivan, plying the Kingstown-Barrouallie route.
Douglas is the son of a former police officer.
Dunbar, who is also known as Jacket, is no stranger to murder charges.
This is the third consecutive year that he is being charged with murder.
Dunbar was first charged with the May 1, 2015 murder of Aljay Chadrick Douglas, 23, of Campden Park.
Douglas was shot and killed while working as a doorman at an entertainment event at the Campden Park Playing Field.
However, the prosecution withdrew the case against Dunbar at the commencement of the preliminary inquiry on Dec. 8, 2015.
Reports are that the case was withdrawn for a lack of evidence.
On June 7, 2016, Dunbar was charged with the murder of Campden Park resident James Shepherd, 41,who was shot and killed on May 31, 2016 in Twenty Hill, a community between Rillan Hill and Penniston.
Shepherd’s body was found at the roadside next to his car, which had crashed into a wall.
The dead man had a bullet wound to his head.
On Jan. 7, 2017, Dunbar was discharged at the commencement of a preliminary inquiry.
Prosecutors say they did not have enough evidence to sustain the charges against the accused.
A number of members of Douglas’ family, included his mother and sisters, gathered outside the court and speculated about how he could have come to become charged in connection with the murders.
Some of them wept openly as he was led away by heavily armed police officers inside an unmarked police vehicle and Dunbar remarked to Douglas’ mother that she would see her son again, soon.
One of Dunbar’s brothers was outside the court.
iWitness News did not observe inside the court anyone known to a relative of Francis.
Douglas is being represented by Grant Connell and Francis by Ronny Mark. Dunbar does not have legal counsel.