A warrant was issued Thursday for the arrest of Blake Barrell, whose throat was cut in broad daylight not far from the courthouse on June 16 last year.
Barrell, 32, a resident of West Bay, was listed to appear in Summary Court on two sets of charges, but failed to appear. Defense attorney Laurence Aiolfi told Magistrate Grace Donalds that previous warrants had been stayed until the sentencing of David Andrew Bodden, the man found guilty of wounding Barrell. Bodden was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment last week.
During Bodden’s trial, Barrell, giving evidence via video link from the United States, said that after he was released from hospital, he left the island because he feared for his safety.
Mr. Aiolfi told the court, “Mr. Barrell is not going to return at this stage to the Cayman Islands. This has nothing to do with any desire to seek to avoid or evade justice …. But having thought long and hard about current circumstances in the Cayman Islands, he is afraid for his life.”
Mr. Aiolfi did not specify what those “current circumstances” were.
The attorney explained that Barrell “does not see anywhere he can be safe from those who would attempt to harm him.”
The defendant’s mother was in court and Mr. Aiolfi said she was anxious to convey to the magistrate her son’s genuine wish to return to Cayman. The magistrate did not call on her.
Crown counsel Neil Kumar asked for the warrant to be issued and executed. The magistrate ordered that it now be executed, not backed for bail.
Barrell is charged with threatening to kill David Bodden outside Bodden’s workplace on June 10, 2015, intending that Bodden would fear the threat would be carried out. This charge first came before the court on Dec. 14, 2015, which is after Barrell said he had left the island.