Attempted murder charge discontinued

Case could be brought back

Barrington Roy Williams Jr. was released from custody on Monday, eight weeks after his arrest for attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Charges against him arose from an incident that occurred in the early hours of Saturday, 1 August. The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call at 4.25am reporting that shots had been fired in the parking lot of the Nevlaw Building and a man had an injury to his hand. Police and medics responded and the victim was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Williams, 20, was arrested on 1 September. Monday, 26 October, was the second date set for a preliminary inquiry into the charges to determine if there was sufficient evidence to send the matter to Grand Court. Defence Attorney Ben Tonner had asked for a ‘long form’ inquiry, meaning that witnesses would have to attend and give evidence in person.

Crown Counsel Nicola Moore told Magistrate Grace Donalds that witnesses in the case were ‘off-island for the foreseeable future’ and so the Attorney General was giving the court notice that the prosecution was not being pursued.

Should the witnesses return, Ms Moore continued, ‘the case will be resurrected.’

The magistrate referred to a section of the Criminal Procedure Code that gives the Attorney General the power to enter a ‘nolle prosequi’ – a declaration that the Crown intends not to continue a prosecution.

‘The result is that you are released,’ she told Williams. ‘Proceedings are discontinued.’

The Criminal procedure code makes it clear that the discharge of an accused person in these circumstances does not act as a bar to any subsequent proceedings against him on the same facts.

On 5 October, the first date set for preliminary inquiry, the Crown had advised the court that witnesses in the case were not available for the proceedings and at least one was in the UK.

The injured man was reported to be an American citizen.

The firearms charge did not refer to any specific make or size.