Former police officer Daniel Ezra Meeks was jailed last week for three years for trying to con an elderly lady into adding his name to her property.

Meeks was convicted of a single count of misconduct in a public office in February, following a judge-alone trial.

The charge stems from a series of incidents that occurred in November 2017, when Meeks was called out to a domestic dispute at a George Town home.

The complainant in the matter was Vernice Johnson Carter, who was 71 at the time. The woman, who previously indicated she prefers to be called Vernice Johnson, had called police on her daughter following a heated dispute between the two women. When Meeks attended the scene, he learned that Johnson’s daughter had damaged the complainant’s phone during the argument.

The following day, Meeks returned to Johnson’s home, this time not in his capacity as a police officer, but as a private citizen. He brought a gift of a phone and a proposition.

He gave her the phone and told her he wanted her help to secure property for himself.

During the trial, the court heard that the victim could not read well and that Meeks, through a series of visits, pressured her to add his name to the title of her land, which she did because he was a police officer.

Johnson said she was taken to a justice of the peace where she signed the documents, which were later submitted to the Lands and Survey Department. The documents were processed, and an initial approval was granted, pending the payment of a $20,000 stamp duty fee.

Before the fee could be paid, she reported the matter to the RCIPS. Shortly after, Meeks submitted a letter withdrawing the application for the addition of his name to the deed.

During the trial, Meeks accepted that he had attempted to add his name to Johnson’s property deed, but said it was at her request.

When giving evidence, he claimed Johnson initiated the conversation, and requested that he add his name to her land, because she was worried that her daughter would not be capable of overseeing the property and she wanted her grandson to inherit it.

Following the initial complaint and filing of charges, Meeks’ contract with the RCIPS was not renewed.

Although he was granted bail upon his conviction to settle his affairs, he was remanded into custody for failing to meet the bail conditions, one of which was a $50,000 surety.

Time spent in custody will be deducted from his three-year sentence.

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.

Donate