Veron Primus leaves the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on Wednesday to begin a prison sentence for escaping prison. (iWN photo)

Accused murderer Veron Primus, 32, on Wednesday chalked up his first conviction in St. Vincent and the Grenadines when he was jailed for 16 months for escaping lawful custody.

The Vermont man Primus pleaded guilty to a charge that between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2019, at Kingstown, while being held on remand at Her Majesty’s Prisons, he did escape such lawful custody.

The offence carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne began with a custodial sentence of 22 months. 

She added six months for each aggravating feature of the case, which included the fact that Primus was on remand for a serious crime when he escaped.

Browne took away two months for each mitigating feature, which included the fact that no violence was used and that Primus returned to custody voluntarily. 

At the end of her calculations, the chief magistrate arrived at a sentence of 24 months in prison, from which she subtracted one-third for Primus’ early guilty plea.

“Thank you,” Primus told the court when the sentence was handed down. 

He then returned to the dock to ask if the sentence would begin on Wednesday, the day on which he was convicted, or if it would be affected by the time he had spent on remand.

The magistrate explained that the sentence had no relationship to time he spent on remand.

In presenting the facts, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told the court that at 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, the prison was locked down and Primus was accounted for.

About 11 p.m., the shift at the prison changed and Primus was also accounted for, the prosecutor said. 

About 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, the shift changed again and around 10 a.m. that same day, Primus was not accounted for.

Delplesche said that an alarm was raised, the matter was referred to the Superintendent of Prisons and the police were informed. 

The senior prosecutor said that a wanted bulletin was issued to the media, including social media.

Later that afternoon, lawyer Jomo Thomas brought Primus into custody.

Head of the Major Crime Unit, Inspector Elgin Richards, cautioned Primus but the escaped prisoner made no statement. 

Delplesche told the court that Primus has no previous convictions.

When Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne asked Primus what he had to say to the court before being sentenced, he asked if he could ask a question.

Primus noted that Delplesche had amended the charge to read “between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2019”, rather than “on Oct. 1, 2019”.

Primus further said that Delplesche had said he (Primus) was accounted for at 3 p.m., but the prosecutor said he had not said that.

“I said the shift changed at 11 p.m.,” the prosecutor said. 

Primus later said that the point was not an important one.

In mitigation, Primus told the court: “I did return voluntarily and I did plead guilty at the first opportunity.”

Accused murderer Veron Primus arrives at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday to hear charges related to his escape from prison one day earlier.

Posted by iWitness News on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Primus arrived at the court in handcuffs, escorted by plainclothes officers from the Major Crime Unit, which investigates the most serious crimes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The team was led by Inspector Richards, who, at six foot 3 inches tall, appeared to tower over the 5 foot 5 inches Primus as they walked the short distance from the vehicle to the court building. 

The senior police officer held on to the left arm of the handcuffed prisoner.

In court, Primus, who seemed to have recently had a haircut, sat mostly quietly as he awaited arraignment on a day mainly reserved for traffic matters.

At one point, he spoke in an aggressive-sounding voice to someone in the courtroom about the taking of a photo, but iWitness News was unable to determine to whom the accused man had directed his comments. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Primus called Thomas, his court-assigned attorney in the murder case, telling the lawyer he was at the Grammar School Playing Field in Richmond Hill and asked Thomas to escort him back into police custody.

Primus escaped from the maximum-security section of the prison, where he was being held as he awaits trial in connection with the November 2015 murder of 33-year-old real estate agent Sharlene Greaves.

Greaves’ body was found with stab wounds at her office in Arnos Vale on Nov. 13, 2015. 

Primus has also been indicted in the United States — where he lived for almost two decades — in connection with the 2006 murder of Chanel Petro-Nixon, 16, in Brooklyn, New York.

Commissioner of Police Colin John told the media on Tuesday that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has received an extradition request, but that it would be considered at the end of the local legal proceedings. 

15 replies on “Veron Primus jailed for escaping prison”

  1. It seems this young man is up to something he escapes
    and volunteers to go back to prison I don’t trust him

  2. Rawlston Pompey says:

    DEFENDANT MAY NOT HAVE PLEADED GUILTY – WAS HE ABANDONED?

    No denying that lawyers shall be paid retainer’s fees for legal services rendered to their clients.

    However, even with non-payment of such a fee, ‘… Did the accompanying attorney abandon the defendant?

    There was never an issue in the two times the Shifts had changed and the defendant was accounted for. This was not evidence against him as;

    (a) ‘…his presence was seen and felt; and

    (b) …his whereabouts were known by officers having custody of him.’

    Since he was charged with ‘…Escaping Lawful Custody,’ he may have caused the prosecution to produce witnesses to adduce evidence that he had actually and unlawfully escaped from their custody.

    Instructively, all that the senior prosecutor could present to the Court was that ‘…on Tuesday October 1, around 10 am, Primus was not accounted for.’ No evidence of a break out was given.

    Those that had custody of him would have had to tell the Court where he was that they could not account for him.

    It begs the question ‘…Where was he then?

    Even his presence outside the confines of the prison, do not necessarily mean ‘…an unlawful escape.’

    Raising alarm and informing Prison Superintendent and Police, and issuing Bulletin to the public, are purely administrative. More suited to an internal or ‘…Public Inquiry.’

    Not of evidential value to the criminal charge or facts given to the Court against the defendant.

  3. I think if he did not act and voluntarily came back in, he is going to get time off from his sentences. Fool he is. He has two crimes to pay for.

  4. Shelika Browne says:

    Hear Naked Toto!!! Veron really embarrassed y’all ! Yall should be glad he escaped shows yall too laid back and there are flaws at the prisons that needs to be addressed and better secured.

  5. DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS CRIMINAL…

    I can call him a CRIMINAL, as he now has a conviction.

    I observed this man during his PI and he is very “smart.” I have my own assumptions as to why he may have escaped prison while on remand for such serious offenses but I will wait to see this play out.

    I do hope that the prosecution and all concerned move swiftly ahead with the other charges so this CRIMINAL can have his days in court and justice served.

    I truly hope I’m wrong but that escape (how it enfold and ended) seems part of a grandiose plan.

    Vernon Primus is no fool!

  6. This act was a delay plan move not to face extradition U.S.A. for his crime i do hope all who aided his escape face prison time .

  7. This is really a horrifying and scary incident to say the least. Make no qualms about it, this is a very serious cause for concern and an embarrassing indictment on the part of the security systems at our prisons.

    This is nothing short of a ‘WAKE UP’ call and an ‘EYE OPENER’ for the ‘powers that be’ and those in authority who are charged with the responsibility of safe-guarding and the surveillance of our prisons where devious criminals are kept.

    Be warned: This is definitely the HANDWRITING ON THE WALL in BOLD LETTERS and we seriously need to take heed with the occurrence of this incident; and if that wasn’t enough for us to see the pending and potential dangers of criminals escaping our prisons, then sadly nothing else will.

  8. Maybe his plan was to get more time added to his sentence so it will take.longer to extradict him to the US. He’s probably afraid that the US may tie him to several murders committed there instead of just one. Maybe he is not only a serial killer but serial rapist as well. Very Dangerous young man.

  9. Amos Greaves. says:

    Vincy lawyer you have made assumptions which may be invalid as to the real reason(s) as to why Mr Primus escaped custody. Could it be that his plans were foiled because some of the appendiges were not properly affixed? Let’s say for instance that he planned to leave the island by boat and those plans fell through. Then it order to minimize his own risk of even being killed, he probably just called it off.

    It would have appeared that Mr.Primus did not act alone but in concert with [others] who may have aided his escape plans. Mr Lawyer it’s important that you begin to think outside of the box and and get rid of your tunnel vision.

    1. Yes I made assumptions as did you. However, the major difference is that I did not state what I assumed. You did! You probably have information that the world doesn’t so we can only assume. Kudos to you for knowledge of the “facts.”

      What then Mr. Greaves is so different about my comment than yours? How is a general comment with no specific reference tunnel vision?

      Next time, before you intend to discredit someone comments, ensure its within context and you have a basis. As they thought us, DONT JUST COMMENT FOR COMMENT SAKE.

  10. Amos Greaves. says:

    Vincy lawyer read my comments again, did I state a fact? Asking a question is certainly not stating a fact. Could it be is an open question ? I will certainly like to be on the same podium as you do with your kind of illogical reasoning.

    1. Unlike you, I read your comments several times before I responded. I read to understand just not for the sake of responding.

      As to your wish of being on any podium with me, thankful that will never happen.

      Res ipsa loquitur!!!!!

  11. Amos Greaves. says:

    Vincy Lawyer i agree, Res ispa loquitur. What will you say is the percentage of cases you have won? Why don’t you state your true name rather than hide behind some pseudonym. Unlike others I use my own name and can be found in Dor…..hill.

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