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Jamarla John returns to prison from High Court No. 1 in Kingstown, on March 10, 2023.
Jamarla John returns to prison from High Court No. 1 in Kingstown, on March 10, 2023.

The High Court has ordered another psychiatric evaluation of a Collins man who is accused of murdering his 94-year-old grandfather in March 2020.

Jamarla John, 23, pleaded not guilty before Justice Brian Cottle at High Court No. 1, to a charge that on March 15, 2020, at Collins, with malice aforethought he caused the death of Warrington Alston John by an unlawful act.

John pleaded similarly to a charge that on the same date and place, he did assault Ainsley John, causing actual bodily harm. 

Karim Nelson appeared for the Crown while Kay Bacchus-Baptiste represented the accused at the hearing earlier this month.

Nelson told the court that a psychiatric evaluation that had been ordered had been received and it indicated that John was fit to plead.

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After the pleas were entered, Bacchus-Baptiste told the court it was clear from the psychiatric report that John has “some problem even though he is fit to plea”.

She said that in order to be better able to advise him, she would like to know better from the psychiatrist what his state of mind was around the time of the alleged crime. 

The lawyer said there was “something” which had been done that gave “some clues. 

“In fact, it said he had some symptoms of psychosis. I don’t know if that would be sufficient,” the lawyer said. 

The judge ordered a report dealing with the state of mind at the time of the incident.

Bacchus-Baptiste further told the court that she had not had disclosure in the matter.

Justice Cottle said it was unlikely that the psychiatric report would be ready before the end of the current law term and ordered that any disclosure issued be dealt with shortly. 

He set April 14, 2023 as the deadline for the presentation of the report to the court.

“I find if I leave it open, they don’t come in. If I put dates and ask for explanations from those who manage the dates, we get better results,” Justice Cottle said.

“If authorities are unable to complete the report, somebody from the Ministry of Health, preferably the permanent secretary, would attend the court and explain why it is late and explain how much time is needed and why,” the judge said.  

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