SOME months ago, when Princes Town mother of 20-year-old Curtis James began hearing stories about him committing crimes in Couva, she begged him to return home. He did not listen.
James had special needs and a speech impediment, his mother Christine Noel, 42, said yesterday. Because of his mental deficiencies, the Borde Narve Village woman said, he was easily influenced and people took advantage of him.
“Two weeks ago, a policeman warned my son’s father that Curtis would get killed.
He said, ‘let Curtis go home, beg him to go home because police will kill him.’ I used to give my child money just for him not to go and thief from people,” Noel said.
James and 16-year-old form three student Kevon Simmons who shot dead by police on Wednesday morning in what officers described as a shootout with criminals inside Tiana’s Jewellery Store.
According to police, the two entered the Southern Main Road, Couva jewellery store by smashing the front glass door.
Police said, by the time officers had responded, the duo had already placed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewellery in a school bag.
Simmons was a student of Couva West Secondary School and lived with relatives at Concerned Citizen Street, California.
Yesterday, Noel said she believes James and Simmons did not commit the crime of their own free will. “About a year ago, a villager who limes in Couva took him (James) away. For a long while, I did not know where he was staying. Curtis went to live with someone. Anything people tell him to do, he would do.
“He was born with a hole in his heart and could not speak properly,” she said.
“I called Curtis Carnival Sunday and told him to enjoy the Carnival. I was supposed to meet him Ash Wednesday. Whoever sent him to do it would have taken the stolen items. He had nothing to show for robberies. They used him so much that people in Couva called him Dumb Dumb. My son’s name is Curtis James!”
The mother of three said she is leaving everything in the hands of God. Autopsies are expected to be done today at the Forensic Sciences Centre, St James.