Man seeks fifth lawyer for ‘duress’ defense

Defendant says poverty and violence are the reasons he committed burglary

Gregory Derron Myles appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday, when he received another adjournment so that he could continue to try to find an attorney who will listen to him. 

According to informal records kept by the Caymanian Compass, Myles been brought to court from custody approximately 24 times since September 2012. He has been represented by, or has spoken to, four attorneys to date. He tried to plead “guilty with explanation” to two burglaries in October 2012. Asked what the explanation was, he replied, “Guilty under duress.” Since that is not a plea in law, the magistrate at the time entered pleas of not guilty. 

In January 2013, when a residential burglary was being dealt with, a magistrate ruled that the defense of necessity did not apply to the facts of the case and she found him guilty. 

Myles had indicated that he did enter a George Town home, but said he took only enough to sell and get a little money for food. The items stolen were a laptop, a cell phone and two shirts.  

With a commercial burglary still to be tried, sentencing was adjourned until March 14. 

Meanwhile, on Jan. 30, the defense requested the court to summons an expert to give evidence about continuing pain and the effects of high blood pressure medication. Myles, 47, had previously indicated that he was still suffering the effects of being stabbed with an ice pick some years ago. 

On March 14, he told the court he had a conflict with his attorney, who then came off record. Another attorney in court at the time was asked if he would speak to Myles and he agreed. The magistrate noted that the Legal Aid Office should assign a new attorney. 

That attorney apparently did not work out, since Myles was back in court five times before another attorney was named as representing him in July. In October, however, the Legal Aid Office was asked to assign a new attorney. 

On Dec. 4, Myles told Magistrate Grace Donalds that “a conflict of interest arose” between him and that attorney. 

He then referred to his first attorney and the first trial: “He railroaded me. He did not present my defense notes.” 

The magistrate said she thought the attorney did put forward the defense of necessity. Myles disagreed. “He refused to listen to my view. He’s supposed to listen to me.” He complained that the lawyers weren’t using law; “they just want me to plead guilty and get it over with.” 

Myles told the court he was going through a rough time. “I’ve been through a whole lot of legal aid lawyers,” he said. “Violence and poverty are the points I’m trying to get through grounds of duress. I’m trying to plead duress and the lawyers are refusing.” 

He said he had been having trouble getting an attorney because of conflict of interests since 1992. Asked what conflict, he cited government manipulation, authorities’ intervention and conspiracy. 

The magistrate advised that March 12 was the earliest date his commercial burglary case could be tried. Myles asked how he could contact the specialists he wanted. 

“That’s why you need a lawyer – to identify who you will need to come to court,” she replied. 

She then set a mention date for Jan. 8. She suggested that Myles try not to part company with his new attorney. 

The commercial burglary refers to a law firm, from which a laptop computer was reported stolen.