Attempted murder charge dismissed

Three men accused of attempted
murder had the charge against them dismissed after a preliminary inquiry on
Thursday afternoon.

Luis Robert Varona, 27; Sven Brett
Connor, 29; and Mark Anthony Seymour, 25; had been remanded in custody.

They were charged with attempting
to murder Royden Robinson on 5 March in the Templeton Avenue area of Windsor Park,
George Town.

At the inquiry, Crown Counsel Candia
James called Mr. Robinson to give evidence. 
When the court marshal started to administer the oath, Mr. Robinson told
chief magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale, “I do not wish to proceed with the
matter.”

He was asked to complete the oath,
which he did. Asked if he remembered 4 March, he said he remembered the day but
not the events of the day.

Shown his statement to police, he
said he did recall signing it. Ms James asked him to review the statement, and
then inquired whether he could now recall events of 5 March. “I still don’t
remember,” he replied.

Asked further questions, he said,
“I don’t remember the statement and I’m not willing to go forward and I’m sorry
for wasting the court’s time, too, for the record.”

He was then asked if he had made
that decision of his own free will.

He replied, “I wish not to proceed,
ma’am, and I was not intimidated into that decision.”

Asked if he had been offered
anything to influence him, he said, “I don’t recall nothing, so nothing could
be offered to me.”

The crown offered no further
evidence, and that effectively brought
the matter to an end.

The magistrate dismissed the
charge.

The first police report of the
incident indicated that there was a report of shots fired on Templeton Street in the Windsor Park
area of George Town
around 2am Friday, 5 March. Several cars were said to have been damaged but no
one was hit.

At a bail hearing on 30 March, Ms
James advised the court of the Crown’s case: that two AK-47 assault rifles were
used, with shells recovered from the scene. The rifles, however, were not
recovered (Caymanian Compass, 1 April).

Last Thursday morning, Defence
Attorney John Furniss, who represented Mr. Varona, reminded the magistrate that
he and attorney Clyde Allen, who appeared for Mr. Seymour, had earlier asked
for the preliminary inquiry to be long-form. This meant they were requesting
the complainant to give evidence in person, rather than have his statement
submitted.

In this case, the inquiry had to be
long-form anyway, because Mr. Connor did not yet have an attorney. The Criminal
Procedure Code does not allow the magistrate to send a matter to Grand Court without
considering statements of witnesses if an accused does not have counsel.

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