Murder accessory charge dropped

Crown’s decision follows dismissal in Jose Sanchez trial

Graham David Lauer, accused of being an accessory after the fact of murder, had the charge against him discontinued following his appearance in Grand Court on Wednesday. 

Mr. Lauer, 60, had been charged with providing accommodation for Jose Guadalupe Sanchez, 28, with intent to impede his apprehension or prosecution after the fatal shooting of Solomon Webster in West Bay on Sept. 7, 2014. Mr. Sanchez was charged with the murder of Mr. Webster and possession of an unlicensed firearm. 

On June 4, 2015, after a month-long trial, Justice Charles Quin found there was no case for Mr. Sanchez to answer and he entered a formal verdict of not guilty. 

On Wednesday, Crown counsel Nicole Petit advised Justice Quin that a formal declaration was being filed to show that the Crown would not proceed against Mr. Lauer. 

The judge said he thought that was a sensible course and the proper approach. 

Mr. Lauer was first brought to court on Sept. 12. He pleaded not guilty on Oct. 30 and elected trial by jury. His bail conditions included a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and a requirement to advise authorities of his planned location when he went fishing. 

Justice Quin told Mr. Lauer that with proceedings discontinued, his bail conditions no longer applied. Further, “There is no stain on your character,” the judge emphasized. 

Defense attorney Nicholas Dixey thanked the Crown and the court for dealing with the matter expeditiously. 

A second man charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder had his charge discontinued in October. Blake Christopher Barrell had been accused of providing Jose Sanchez with a telephone set and telephone calls after Mr. Webster was shot. 

Mr. Barrell had his throat slashed Tuesday after leaving the courthouse following a hearing on an unrelated weapons charge, which was also withdrawn. The man arrested in the broad daylight attack has not been charged.