A man who was brought to court today (Tuesday) on a murder charge told the magistrate that he did not pay a fine for cocaine possession that she had imposed on him some time ago.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne therefore told the man, Rion Cole, 24, of Paul Avenue that the prison sentence as an alternative for the fine could run concurrent to his time on remand for the murder charge.
Cole was arraigned at the Serious Offences Court on the indictable charge that between Aug. 24 and 25, 2022, at Arnos Vale, he murdered Zarrel Veronica “Keisha” Small, of Arnos Vale/Fountain.
He was not required to plead the indictable charge and was remanded into custody until April 1 for the commencement of a preliminary inquiry.
Cole, who also pleaded not guilty to theft and assault charges during the same sitting, asked the chief magistrate why he was not allowed to plead to the murder charge.
Browne explained that the charge was laid on indictment and was for preliminary inquiry.
The prosecutor, Corporal of Police 817 Stapleton told the court that the prosecution intended to call 14 witnesses in the murder case.
Detective Constable 1016 of the Major Crime Unit is the arresting officer in that matter.
Meanwhile, Cole pleaded not guilty to charges that:
on July 2, 2023, at Arnos Vale, he unlawfully and maliciously wounded Sosique Bowens of Glen;
and, on Oct. 2023, at Paul’s Avenue, he stole six bottles of Village Ram, valued at EC$36, six bottles of Coca-Cola, valued at EC$36, six bottles of Guinness, valued at EC$36 and four big bottles of Ju-c, valued at EC$20, total value EC$128, the property of Seon Saunders, of Paul’s Avenue.
Those matters were transferred to the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court for hearing on Jan. 8.
As Cole was waiting to be escorted out of the courtroom he asked the chief magistrate if she remembered the fine she had imposed on him for possession of 2.2 grammes of cocaine.
“I ain’t pay the money and the time gone,” he further told the court.
“I thank you for your honest disclosure,” Browne responded.
“So, you have a period of further rest and relaxation. So, it will all run in here,” she further said, referring to the time on remand.
Cole responded, “It mek sense”.
Small, a 43-year-old unemployed woman formerly of Fountain, was living at Pole Yard, Arnos Vale at the time of her death.
On Aug. 25, 2022 about 6 a.m., police received information about a female body on the tarmac at the decommissioned E.T Joshua Airport in Arnos Vale.
The police visited the scene and met the deceased lying on her back in an area where containers and trailers were being stored with what appeared to have been a piece of PVC pipe inserted into her vagina.
A post mortem conducted on Aug. 26, 2022, concluded that she died of asphyxia due to manual strangulation.