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Veron Primus on his way to court on July 11, 2022.
Veron Primus on his way to court on July 11, 2022.
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The High Court is unlikely to make much progress today (Monday) as it prepares to sentence Veron Primus, 35, who was convicted for murder on June 14.

There have been two adjournments in the sentencing exercise and Primus’ lawyer, Michael Wyllie, is still receiving medical attention overseas.

Wyllie told iWitness News, on Sunday, that he has decided to return to St. Vincent in early December, although he has not completed the physiotherapy treatment for a back injury.

The lawyer said that Vynnette Frederick, one of his colleagues who appeared with him during the trial, will represent him in court today.

“She wrote to Justice Cottle on Friday. She’s going to go but I need to speak to Primus based on the reservations that he has, disputes regarding a number of things in the prosecution’s submission,” Wyllie told iWitness News.

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Vynette Frederick
Lawyer Vynnette Frederick. (iWN file photo)

“I am his attorney… The court appointed me to represent him and so I need to speak to him to know exactly what it is that he’s concerned about and see how what he is raising is related to what went on in the trial. I am the one who conducted the trial, not Vynnette or any of my staff members. It’s critical that all these things are in concert with the case and what went on,” Wyllie said.

Primus was convicted on June 14 of the November 2015 murder of real estate agent Sharleen Greaves, 33, of Calliaqua.

His sentencing was initially scheduled for Sept. 21, after Wyllie told High Court judge, Justice Brian Cottle, that he was travelling overseas for medical attention.

However, on Sept. 21, Wyllie was absent, as he was still receiving medical attention overseas.

Further, the court had not received the sentencing submission from neither the Crown nor defence.

Justice Cottle then adjourned the sentence to Nov. 7 at the High Court No.1 in Kingstown, even as he said he had “very little hope” that the matter would be further along by then.

At the Nov. 7 hearing, Crown Counsel Kaylia Toney said that sentencing submissions were since filed.

Counsel Grant Connell, who was standing in for Wyllie, told the court that Wyllie was overseas seeking medical attention and should be back in December.

The court also learned the other defence lawyer, Vynnette Frederick, was also unwell.

The judge said he was disappointed that the matter could not be concluded that day and went on to voice concerns, adding that he will speak more when the case is disposed of.

He adjourned the matter to today, Nov. 21.  

Wyllie said:

“Well, I have a lot to say about this when I come back with the media and also with the Court of Appeal.”

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Veron Primus on his way to court on June 27, 2022.

Primus was arrested in April 2016 and has remained in custody since then, effectively spending six years on remand before being tried.

Wyllie told iWitness News:

“Now, the other thing that really is upsetting about this whole matter, Primus was in jail for [six] years on remand before he was tried and Justice Cottle never came down on the prosecution or criticised the prosecution for having the man in jail for [six] years.”

The lawyer noted that an accused person is presumed to be innocent 

“He wasn’t proven guilty, but he was in jail for [six] years. He’s now found guilty. So, it’s just a matter of how much time he is going to get,” the lawyer said, adding that under the sentencing guidelines, Primus could get between 20 and 30 years in jail.

Wyllie said that he submitted to the court a medical certificate indicating that a doctor had granted him sick leave until Nov. 25.

“But yet I asked for an adjournment for the first week in December and he put the matter for the 21st of November,” Wyllie said.

He said that the judge was suggesting that Frederick could make sentencing submissions on Primus’ behalf.

“This trial went on for six weeks. Vynnette was only in court with me for three days. She doesn’t fully understand, or is fully acquainted with all that went on during the trial. And so, I try my best to be able to do the submission,” Wyllie said.

Brian Cottle
Justice Brian Cottle. (iWN file photo)

He said he also sent his clerk to the prisons to speak with Primus.

“I gave him a series of questions to ask Mr. Primus. Mr. Primus doubted or wasn’t pleased with what the prosecution had in their submission regarding his convictions in the United States. And so, I need to speak to him to clarify exactly what are the discrepancies in turns of those convictions that the prosecution claims he has in the United States….”

The lawyer further told iWitness News that the Crown has made an application to the Attorney General to have him removed from the list of legal aid lawyer representing murder accused.

“Because of my disrespect, they claim, for the judiciary, judge and everything else,” Wyllie said.

“I don’t understand why they’re saying that. The inference is that the only time I should object to what a judge rules or what a judge says is to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has made it clear that the parties should try and resolve issues before the appeal. One of the unfortunate things is that a lot of people can’t afford to appeal. So, whatever bad decision a judge makes, then, you know, they have to go with it,” Wyllie told iWitness News.  

“Now, again, are they saying that whenever the Court of Appeal rules that a judge made an error in his decision that means that he should no longer be a judge? They are saying that because I was not abiding by the rules, I should not be allowed to continue. So, whenever a judge makes a bad decision in a case, as overruled by the Court of Appeal, that means he should no longer be a judge?” Wyllie said.  

5 replies on “Lawyer says murderer Veron Primus’ sentencing unlikely to proceed today”

  1. He should be sent to jail for life. He should never see the sun shine. He is a wicked boy for the crimes he committed.

  2. Remember he is a human like you, stop and think you could of been him or one of your family, so please don’t go so hard on a sick man,

  3. Sick? Define sick . . . You kill by the sword you should die likewise. There is punishment for all who makes foolish, wicked decisions in life and use sickness as a result to escape, and or cover up their wicked, filthy mess.
    Wickedness is an abomination in the eyes of God and mankind.

    People cease killing the victims twice or stirring up their souls in the grave.

  4. An eye for an eye says:

    This man has no remorse and cannot be rehabitated. He had commited a litanty of crimes in the USA and continued his merry ways in St Vincent. He should have an appointment with the hangman who unfortunately is on sabbitical. Its a shame that he does not recognised the santicity of life. Hang the bastard.

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