– Murder accused “Grey Boy” asks after committed to stand trial
Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman yesterday complied with the order of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and committed 39-year-old Regan Rodrigues called ‘Grey Boy’ to stand trial for the murder of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing.
Rodrigues, who was in and out of the courtroom anxiously waiting for his name to be called by the court orderly, finally got the call at around 11:15 hrs.
Rodrigues then stood next to the prisoner’s dock and the Principal Magistrate told the courtroom “The court still maintains that there is not sufficient evidence for a case to be made out against you to stand trial at the High Court for murder, however the DPP appealed the matter and I have to comply with the Judge’s (Justice Brassington Reynolds) order and commit you for the murder.”
After the Magistrate told Rodrigues that he was committed to stand trial before a judge and jury at the next practicable sitting of the Demerara Assizes, Rodrigues burst into tears and asked loudly, “Why I have to go through this over and over?” He had been discharged for the murder on three occasions.
Particulars of the charge against Rodrigues are that on March 10, 2015 at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, he murdered Crum-Ewing.
During the Preliminary Inquiry (PI), Magistrate Latchman had ruled that while the court was satisfied that Crum-Ewing was shot with a gun retrieved from a house at Riverview, Ruimveldt which was occupied by Rodrigues, there was no evidence that Rodrigues “used the gun, pulled the trigger and shot Crum-Ewing.”
Crum-Ewing died as a result of haemorrhage and shock due to multiple gunshot wounds.
This was supported by the evidence of Government Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh who testified that Crum-Ewing received five gunshot wounds – one of which was at close range.
The Magistrate said that the court believed that Crum-Ewing died as a result of gunshot wounds.
Fourteen oral statements given to police by Rodrigues were admitted to form part and parcel of evidence in the matter by Magistrate Latchman. However, the Magistrate ruled that these oral statements did not implicate Rodrigues in the murder.
Despite Magistrate Latchman having to comply with the order of the DPP, the matter which has been appealed by the Magistrate is still ongoing in the Appeal Court, and Rodrigues’ committal will not affect her appeal. Her reason was that there was insufficient evidence to commit.
The Magistrate is contending that any law which seems to give the DPP that power is clearly an interference with the independence of the judiciary and such law ought to be declared null and void. She is being represented by Attorney-at-law Arud Gossai.
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