One month after the owner of the Tourist Villa Hotel was charged with manslaughter for shooting his neighbour, he was yesterday charged with murder and remanded to prison.
The murder charge was instituted based on advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Erwin Bacchus, 45, of 260 Fifth Avenue, Subryanville, Kitty, was out on $1.5 M bail after being charged with manslaughter last month.
However when the matter was called in the courtroom of Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman yesterday, Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers told the court that based on advice from the DPP, he will be unable to proceed with the manslaughter charge.
The Magistrate then withdrew the manslaughter charge against Bacchus and read a new charge to him.
Bacchus was not required to plead to the new charge which alleged that on August 4, last, at
Subryanville, he murdered Jason De Florimonte.
The defendant is being represented by Attorneys-at-law Glenn Hanoman and Nigel Hughes. At yesterday’s court hearing Hughes told the court that it is not clear why the DPP charged his client with murder.
He said that no further investigation was carried out after his client was first charged with manslaughter.
With this new charge against his client, Hughes is contending that the decision of the DPP amounted to abuse of power.
He added that the new charge will now impact his client’s liberty since bail is not granted to murder accused. His client would now have to be incarcerated, he said.
Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers told the court that after the Post Mortem (PM) report was submitted to the DPP and the injuries presented was consistent with that of murder and not manslaughter, the new charge was instituted.
The Prosecutor added that the file is complete and the Prosecution will be calling 20 witnesses during the Preliminary Inquiry (PI).
Magistrate Latchman remanded Bacchus to prison and instructed him to make his next court appearance on October 3 for the commencement of the PI.
The lawyers representing Bacchus are still contending that their client was merely trying to defend himself after he was attacked by De Florimonte who was at the time armed with a knife and a rolling pin.
Hughes added that a handyman who works for Bacchus saw the now dead man beating his girlfriend in front of the hotel and tried to rescue the woman.
Hughes added that De Florimonte became upset and armed himself with a knife and a rolling pin and advanced towards the handyman.
De Florimonte then began to stab at the handyman who then ran into the hotel to save his life but was followed by De Florimonte.
The court heard that while the handyman was running up the stairs of the hotel De Florimonte caught up with him and once again began to stab at him.
The defendant in an attempt to save the handyman’s life told De Florimonte to desist from attempting to stab the handyman and De Florimonte turned his attention on him.
Hughes stated that his client became fearful for his life and in an attempt to scare De Florimonte fired two warning shots in the air. De Florimonte continued to advance towards his client and that’s when he shot De Florimonte once in the chest and fired two more shots in his direction while he was still advancing towards him.
However Police state that on the day in question around 01:00 hrs on the day in question, De Florimonte was seen abusing a female and the handyman went to part them. Soon after, an argument ensued between them.
The court was told that De Florimonte began attacking the handyman with a knife and rolling pin.
It was then that Bacchus fired several shots at De Florimonte causing him to sustain injuries.
According to information, an autopsy conducted on 30-year-old De Florimonte, of 96 Fifth Avenue Subryanville, revealed that he was shot three times about his body.
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