Bail refused; one defendant tries to escape
Four men appeared in Summary Court on Monday, charged with last week’s robbery at Blackbeard’s liquor store in Grand Harbour.
They are jointly charged with using force to steal CI$4,604.42 and US$582, and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
The defendants are Devon Wright Jr., 23; Randy Connor, 24; Bron Webb, 21; and Andrew Lopez, 21.
As the defendants were leaving the dock and heading back downstairs to the cells, there was a pause as spectators came forward to speak with one or another of them. Suddenly, Wright jumped over the railing and ran out the door of the courtroom.
Two police officers who had been sitting on the side of the courtroom ran after him. Another officer, also in plainclothes, detained Wright in the upstairs lobby. Together, the officers brought him back into court and ultimately down the stairs.
Before the attempted escape, Director of Public Prosecution Cheryll Richards said the robbery occurred around 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 17, with CCTV showing three masked men going into the store. Two of them carried a gun, a gold-colored shotgun and a silver handgun. Along with money taken from a cashier, a purse was taken from a customer. Among the items in the purse was a photo of a relative of the customer.
A fourth man was said to be the driver of the getaway car. About 25 minutes after the robber, the four defendants were arrested at a Prospect residence. Recovered from the scene was a large amount of cash, clothing and a purse that contained a photograph of the store customer’s relative.
Ms. Richards said a gold-colored shotgun with three live rounds was recovered from another part of the premises. She also revealed that the shotgun had been tested earlier Monday and was found to be in operating condition. Other forensic tests were previously conducted on the shotgun, she said.
The handgun has not yet been recovered, Ms. Richards advised.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats heard detailed bail applications from attorneys James Stenning for Lopez; Fiona Robertson for Webb; John Furniss for Connor and Wright. Ms Richards continued her objections.
The magistrate made it clear he was considering each application separately, but decided that bail would be refused for all four. He transmitted the charges to Grand Court and reminded the defendants that they could apply for bail again in the higher court.
After the escape attempt, the magistrate resumed court. He decided he would not have Wright brought back into court until he calmed down. Depending on the police officials’ reports, there could be further charges against Wright.