Arson accused Colin Jones jailed for eight years, refuses psychoanalysis
…Still faces murder charges with accomplices
By Latoya Giles
With a heavy police presence yesterday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, escaped prisoner Colin Jones, called “Bunny”, was slapped with charges ranging from murder to arson to possession of guns and ammunition to escaping from lawful custody and cultivating cannabis.
Jones reportedly confessed to recently killing two of his accomplices, Kurt Thierens and Adriano Tracey.
Jones’s 17-year-old brother Jahfar Simpson, of Lot 30 West Ruimveldt Squatting Area was also slapped with one murder charge, and several other charges, including arson.
Rice tester, Randy Mars, who according to his lawyer is attached to the Guyana Rice Board, was also charged with murder, attempted murder, arson, and possession of guns and ammunition.
Linden residents Ulei McQuede and Deon Thompson were charged with knowingly harbouring the wanted man.
The five defendants appeared before Magistrate Priya Beharry.
Moreover, Randy Mars and Jahfar Simpson were jointly charged with a series of crimes at Loo Creek on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.
It is alleged that the two between November 3 and November 4, 2009, at Loo Creek, duct-taped the face of Roopchand Gopaul, with the intent to murder him. Another charge stated that during the same period at Loo Creek, they duct-taped the face of Shawn Embelton with the same intent.
Another charge stated that at the same location, and period of time, they murdered Woodette Roberts.
Jones, now 22, Mars and Simpson are accused of discharging a loaded firearm at police constable Carl Marks with the intent to murder him on November 4, 2009.
It was further alleged that the trio on the same date, with the intent to murder, discharged a loaded firearm at Clayton Westford. Westford along with Keith Ferrier were charged for setting the Ministry of Health building on fire last year.
Trio was also charged with discharging a loaded firearm at police constable Rajendra Singh with the intent to murder him.
The penultimate charge against the trio stated that on November 4, with the intent to murder, they discharged a loaded firearm at detective constable Dharmindra Indrapaul.
The trio was further charged with setting fire to a public building – the Supreme Court of Guyana on November 4, 2009.
Alleged self-confessed killer Colin Jones was further accused of escaping from lawful custody at the Providence Police Lockups on July 27, 2009, pending a criminal matter.
Policewoman Diane Chichester was charged with facilitating Jones’s escape from the lockups last year.
The preliminary inquiry into that matter is still continuing.
Jones’s lawyer, George Thomas, who appeared in association with attorney at law Shawn Allicock, asked for a psychological examination to be carried out on Jones. The lawyer was of the view that Jones was not of sound mind to stand trial for any of the charges against him.
After those charges were read to the men, Jones was separately charged with murder, possession of guns and ammunition and cultivating cannabis.
It is alleged that Jones, between November 10 and November 26, 2010 at Amelia’s Ward, murdered Adriano Tracey.
Another charge stated that between the same dates, he murdered Kurt Thierens also called “Glasses”. He was not required to plead to those two charges.
It is further alleged that on November 25, at Amelia’s Ward, Linden, he discharged a loaded firearm at police officer Leslie Corlette. To that charge Jones pleaded guilty.
Further Jones pleaded guilty to a charge stating that on November 26, he knowingly cultivated cannabis, a prohibited plant.
He also pleaded guilty to having in his possession 691 rounds of 7.62 x 3.9 ammunition, and to having in his possession three AK-47 rifles. As the magistrate was going through the charges, Jones remained steadfast that he was guilty on all of the summary charges, even though his lawyer kept interjecting and reiterating the need for a psychological examination.
“I don’t need no examination….I’m alright,” Jones told the magistrate. After this disclosure the magistrate proceeded to sentence Jones.
He was sentenced to three years imprisonment along with a $30,000 fine on the cultivating cannabis charge.
With regard to the ammunition charge he was sentenced to four years imprisonment along with $75,000 fine.
Jones was sentenced to four years for possession of firearms along with a $75,000 fine. All charges will run concurrently.
Police Prosecutor Stephen Telford told the court that on November 25, acting on information the police received, they went to a house where Jones was said to be at the time. A search was conducted and Jones was spotted. Upon seeing the police he tried to escape but was caught.
The prosecutor told the court that the police found a number of items in the house.
Telford further stated that Jones allegedly admitted that the articles belonged to him, and he also gave the police several other locations where a quantity of ammunition and two AK-47 rifles were found.
Following Jones’s appearance, the charges against Deon Thompson and Ulei McQuede were read.
The two are accused of knowingly harbouring two wanted men between August 14 and November 26, 2010 with the knowledge that they were wanted in connection with arson and murders.
The court was told that Jones would stay at Thompson’s home and that the latter provided them with basic accommodation.
The prosecutor said that McQuede was sent to a Western Union outlet on three occasions to collect money on Thierens’s behalf.
In relation to the Loo Creek Murder and attempted murders, Randy Mars and Jahfar Simpson have to return to court on December 6.
These matters were transferred to Providence Magistrate’s Court after they were refused bail.
As for Jones, in relation to the escaping from lawful custody he will have to return to court on December 6.
That matter was transferred to the Providence Magistrate’s Court.
The trio is to appear jointly on January 5, 2011, to answer to the charge of setting fire to a public building.
Meanwhile the Guyana Police Force has reportedly asked the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to help track down ex-GDF lieutenant George Lashley and Keith Ferrier, who are said to be key players in the alleged ‘terror’ attacks.
Lashley is believed to be in the United States, while Ferrier, called ‘General’ is also believed to be overseas.
The ex-soldier is said to be around 60, and once resided at Lot 187 Freeman Street, East La Penitence.
Police believe that Lashley, Ferrier and Thierens were the brains behind the torching of the Health Ministry buildings, the arson attempt at the Supreme Court, and the attacks on the Brickdam Police Station and the Ruimveldt Police Outpost.