An alleged gun-toting teenager was yesterday charged for purportedly opening fire on his friend following a dispute last week in front of a city fast food restaurant.
Former Dolphin Secondary School student, Janeel Howard, 18, of Lot 322 Section ‘C’ Sophia, Greater Georgetown appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court charged with discharging a loaded firearm with intent.
The charge which was read to him by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine Beharry alleged that on May 21 at Louisa Row, Georgetown the teen discharged a loaded firearm at Jermaine France with intent to maim, harm or disfigure him.
After the Administration of Justice Act (AJA) was applied to the charge, Howard pleaded not guilty and through his lawyer Paul Fung-a-Fat urged the Chief Magistrate to consider offering him bail.
Fung-a-Fat stated his client, an army recruit, was engaged in a fight with France. “Whilst fighting they heard a gun discharged and lo and behold my client was charged.”
“Your worship, we are currently in possession of an agreement from the virtual complainant stating that he does not want to proceed in the matter against my client.”
His application was, however, met with sharp objections from the Police Prosecutor, Corporal Bharat Mangru, who had a different tale to tell.
Mangru told the court that the two men are known to each other. “On the day in question, the victim went to a Chinese Restaurant to buy some food but upon arrival he heard the accused and another friend arguing with the staff.”
The Prosecutor reported that France managed to buy his meal and went to his car.
According to Mangru, Howard followed the victim and pulled at the man’s food which was placed on top of the car and it fell to the ground.
A scuffle ensued between the two and Howard ran into a yard.
“Your Worship, the virtual complainant and his mother came out and they noticed a car drive by and an occupant pull out something and gave it to the accused. Moments later shots were fired at the victim, your Worship.”
He said that the matter was reported and the victim identified the accused. The Prosecutor noted that two spent shells were found at the alleged crime scene. He said that the victim is known to the accused.
Mangru claimed the serious nature and the prevalence of the offence in society as well as the fact that a gun was used in the commission of the crime were sufficient grounds for the accused to be denied bail.
The Prosecution further opined that Howard in considering the punishment the offence attracts will not return to face the charge before the court.
Fung-a-Fat contended that there was “no evidence, no fingerprints and no proof. We have a signed agreement your worship that the victim does not want to proceed against the matter.”
The Chief Magistrate refused bail. The case is set to be called again on June 13 for statements.
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