From the Courts
September 12, 2017
Veron Primus to stand trial at High Court for murder

Murder accused Veron Primus has described as unfair, the decision by Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias to send his matter to the High Court to be tried before judge and jury.

Primus rose to notoriety on Friday, April 15, 2016, when police charged him in relation to the alleged abduction of Vermont resident Mewanah Hadaway. Later, investigations led to Primus being charged with the murder of real estate agent Sharleen Greaves. Greaves was found stabbed to death at her Bijou Real Estate office in Arnos Vale on November 13, 2015.

The preliminary enquiry into Greaves’s murder ended last Friday, when senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche informed the court that he was not offering any more evidence in relation to the matter.

On Friday, the court was expecting to hear testimony from Hadaway under the Witness Special Measures Act, which would have allowed her to testify on camera. Reports are that Hadaway is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and could not testify in person.

But Hadaway’s testimony was not heard and that seemed to confuse Primus, who is not being represented by a lawyer. Initially, Primus was represented by Michaela Ambrose, but Ambrose distanced herself from the case, citing differences with her client in relation to his defence.  

When Browne-Matthias told Primus that he was committed to stand trial for the murder, he looked amused and commented that no evidence was provided to the court.

He said persons spoke of knives and no knives were presented. He also said that no DNA evidence was presented. Browne-Matthias informed that the preliminary inquiry was not a trial, but merely a procedure to find out if enough evidence was available for a trial.

“How can I prepare for a fair trial when I cannot even see the evidence against me?” questioned Primus, at which Browne-Matthias once again stressed that this was a preliminary inquiry and when he is eventually tried at the High Court, he would be given a lawyer.

She told Primus that she was noting his complaints and he would be given the opportunity to talk about them when his trial is conducted at the High Court. She then asked him to stand down.

He was then called back to the dock and told by Browne-Matthias that he is allowed to give the names of any alibis he may have as part of his defence and he could either do so now or in seven days time. Primus nodded, but did not give any names.

As Primus sat in the courtroom, seemingly dejected, he refused to sign the paper committal forms.

“I’m not signing that,” he told a court officer in an aggressive tone.

After leaving the court, Primus also refused to ride in the tray of the pick-up truck that was provided to transport him to Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP).

“I’m not riding on the back. I have a medical condition; I not riding on that,” Primus told police officers, who ended up placing Primus in the back seat of the pick-up truck before driving off.

Primus, a deportee from the United States, has also been charged with one count of kidnapping, two counts of rape and two counts of buggery, allegedly committed between January 1 and April 15, 2016 at Vermont.

A Vincentian national, who spent over 18 years in the US, last year, Primus was also indicted in 2016 for the 2006 murder of Brooklyn teen Chanel Petro-Nixon.