Two men reappeared before Acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle at the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Eighth Court yesterday to begin the preliminary inquiry into the murder of Jamal Reginald Grant, who was shot and killed near a garage in Waterhole Road, Cocorite. According to reports, threats were made to Grant two weeks before he died after giving his statement in a previous matter.
The accused, Kareem Lewis, 22 and Kerwin Butler, 21, were not called upon to plead as the charges were laid indictably, with the addition of firearms and ammunition charges. Defense attorney Larry Williams, who represented Lewis, inquired why the identifying witness had not tendered their statement by this time.
Prosecution attorney Danielle Thompson admitted that while there were two outstanding statements from witnesses, they were in possession of 25 statements.
However, Earle-Caddle expressed her dissatisfaction with the length of time for Thompson to locate witnesses and obtain statements on the matter, citing the time both men have been in custody.
“I am not going to sit here while you [prosecution] take your time to find witnesses. These men are in custody. I am not starting any proceedings into the matter until you all are ready to proceed.” Earle-Caddle scolded. This matter has been before the court since 2014.
Thompson explained that two of the witnesses who were supposed to provide statements have left the area without notifying the investigating officer who was trying to locate them.
Williams carried out a thorough cross-examination of complainants and witnesses in the matter. Both men are expected to reappear in court on August 29. The mother of the deceased, Kathy-Ann Williams, said that her son would have been 23 today, had he been alive.