Romando Romano Andrews, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ latest murder accused, protests his innocence after his arraignment last Thursday.
Andrews appeared before Senior magistrate Colin John at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, charged with murder in connection with the Sept. 7, 2023 killing in Buccament Bay.
Andrews, who is also known as “Russian”, is alleged to have murdered Jovanne Baptiste, a 29-year-old construction worker, of Rose Place.
Baptiste was gunned down around 7:55 a.m. while on his way to work at the construction site of Sandals Beaches Resort.
Andrews was remanded in custody to appear before the Serious Offences Court Monday Jan. 8, for the setting of a date for a preliminary inquiry.
His arraignment came two days after Paul Avenue resident, Rion Cole, 24, appeared in court in connection with the August 2022 murder of Zarell Small, of Arnos Vale.
Small aka Keisha, a 43-year-old resident of Pole Yard, died of manual strangulation sometime between August 24 and 25, 2022, a post mortem concluded.
Her body was found on the tarmac of the decommissioned ET Joshua airport around 6 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2022, with a piece of PVC conduit protruding from her vagina.
Small’s murder was one of two that the nation’s chief crime fighter, acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Trevor “Buju” Bailey ordered detectives to revisit last November.
The other was the murder of Previous Williams, 17, of Sion Hill, whose body was found in a bag in Richmond Hill on May 12, 2022.
At a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday, Bailey said that solving Williams’ murder is still a priority for the police.
SVG recorded a record-setting 42 homicides in 2022. This was superseded in 2023 by 55 homicides, 52 of which were classified as murder.
Bailey said that emphasising the murder cases he did last November did not mean that police had placed the other investigations in the cold cases cabinets.
Speaking at the same press conference, Acting Commissioner of police Enville Williams said the police take every murder seriously.
Bailey urged the public to be patient and have confidence in the nation’s homicide investigators.
Most of the murders committed in SVG over the last decade or so remain unsolved.