A Green Hill man who was in April 2017 freed of a murder charge because the file in the case was not ready has become the 44th homicide victim in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) this year.
Deshawn Slater, 26, was found dead in Murrary’s Village with what appears to be a gunshot wound to the head.
His death takes the homicide count in SVG two higher than the record 42 set in 2022 –with about eight weeks left in the year.
On Aug. 1, 2016, Slater, then serving a three-year jail term for firearm possession, was charged with the 2014 murder of fellow villager, Aninka Stowe.
Stowe died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on Oct. 20, 2014, where she was taken after being shot in the chest in Green Hill around 9 p.m.
However, on April 3, 2017, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne dismissed the murder charge against Slater after the court heard that the file was still at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, and therefore, the prosecution was not ready for a preliminary inquiry.
The matter had come up for hearing a number of times before the chief magistrate dismissed the charge, noting the length of time that had elapsed.
On Feb. 10, 2015, Browne sentenced Slater to three years in prison for possession of a firearm, without a licence.
He was arrested in Green Hill two days earlier when police found the weapon in a sack he was carrying.
Slater told the court that he had found the weapon, which was not loaded, while digging dasheen, and was going to take it to the police.