From the Courts
September 9, 2014
Alaskie Samuel case adjourned, voir dire expected for video recordings

So far, four police officers have presented evidence for the prosecution in the case of Alaskie “Beaver” Samuel, which began at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court last Friday, before Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias.{{more}}

Samuel, a Redemption Sharpes resident, is charged with four gun and ammunition related charges: the possession of a Glock 17 pistol without a legal permit, possession of a weapon with the intent of endangering life, possession of a weapon with the intention of committing an offence, and possession of 27 rounds of 9mm bullets.

In his statement to the court, Sergeant Dwayne Bailey of the Rapid Response Unit(RRU) stationed at Layou, stated that on August 18, 2014, he and other officers from the RRU and Special Services Unit (SSU) personnel acted on information received while on duty in the Rose Place area.

Bailey said he intercepted a brown Toyota Sprinter with license plate PB422, which was travelling from Ottley Hall to Kingstown.

The sergeant, who said that all windows of the vehicle were rolled up, said that he signalled for the driver to turn down the glass and when the driver did so, he saw that Samuel was seated on the left side in the back seat.

“I noticed him trying to push something under the front passenger seat,” Bailey told the court.

“I drew my firearm and I shouted at the passenger to put his hands where I can see them.”

After instructing the driver and the defendant to exit the vehicle, Bailey said that he stuck his hand under the left front passenger seat and found a firearm.

He stated that he observed that the gun carried an extended magazine which was equipped to carry 31 rounds of ammunition, but only had 27 rounds in it at the time.

He added that on the seat next to where Samuel was sitting, he found a black mask, a pair of black gloves, a multi-coloured book bag with clothing and a licence plate in it.

Corporal Kenrick Providence, who is attached to the Traffic Department, stated that the Traffic Department keeps records of all persons who have a licence for a firearm, as well as dealers of firearms and ammunition.

Providence told the court that, acting on a conversation with Bailey, he made a check of these records which indicated that Samuel does not have a licence to carry a firearm or to be a firearms dealer.

The weapon found in Samuel’s possession was tested by a ballistic arms expert, who tested eight of the 27 rounds in the magazine.

According to that report given in court, the gun was kept in good condition; however, it was noted that a full selector lever kit was purchased to modify the gun to be fully automatic.

Initially the gun was semi-automatic.

Major Crime Unit officer Corporal Bjon Duncan also provided evidence in court.

The corporal revealed that he and Sergeant Bailey had carried out an interview with the defendant on August 19.

Duncan stated that Samuel indicated that counsel Grant Connell was his lawyer, but stated that he did not want his lawyer present during the interview.

Corporal Duncan added that at the end of the process, he made several copies of the interview, which was recorded and placed on a blank DVD.

In defense of her client, lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne asked the witnesses several questions.

In her presentation, Bacchus-Browne stated that Samuel did not attempt to push anything under the passenger seat in front of him. She further stated that the defendant was merely a passenger in the vehicle and suggested that the weapon may have been there all along.

“It defies logic…nobody would have a battery of police in front of them, have a car glass up and wait until the car glass was turned down to push something under the seat,” she said.

The defendant’s lawyer also questioned why the driver of the vehicle was not charged for the gun given that it was found in the driver’s car.

Bacchus-Browne also objected to having the DVD of the interview admitted to evidence on several grounds, including the absence of Samuel’s lawyer during the interview, stating that it will have an abject effect on the fairness of the trial.

The case was adjourned and a voir dire was expected to be carried out for viewing of the video recording of the interview with Samuel.(BK)