A Vincentian soldier serving in the British Armed Forces has been committed to stand trial for attempted murder.
The ruling that Keri Phillips would face a Judge and Jury at the High Court was handed down by the Serious Offenses Court (SOC) at the end of the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) yesterday, January 31. During the process of the Inquiry, multiple witness testified as to what occurred on the evening of December 26, 2021, when a gunwielder allegedly tried to murder Istah Mack in Chester Cottage, Georgetown.
The victim was the first to take the stand last Friday, January 28, recounting to Chief Magistrate, Rechanne Browne how he sustained multiple gunshot wounds about the body. One of Mack’s relatives, who was also apparently on the scene on December 26, was the second witness.
A 16-year-old student of the Georgetown Secondary School testified yesterday. His mother sat in the courtroom while the young man in school uniform recalled what he knew, speaking in a quiet voice that did not get any louder no matter how times he was asked to try and raise the volume.
The investigator, Corporal 705 Colin Stay, was the final prosecution witness before Prosecutor, Sergeant Renrick Cato closed the crown’s case.
The inquiry was not for the purposes of determining guilt or innocence but for the court to determine whether there was a sufficiency of evidence that the matter should go to trial for the evidence to be deliberated over by a jury.
The magistrate’s pronouncement at the end of the presentation of the prosecution’s case was that “the court finds that there is sufficient evidence to commit the accused to stand trial at the High Court at the next practical sitting of the High Court assizes.”
Consequently, the accused, Keri Phillips had a choice to make. He could either be sworn to give evidence or he could reserve his defence.
Phillips’ lawyer Duane Daniel, who had cross examined the prosecution witnesses at length during the inquiry, indicated that his client will be reserving his defence.
Bail continues for the young accused, and he left the premises accompanied by a large group including fellow soldier Brently Butler, also of Chester Cottage. Butler has himself recently escaped a charge that on December 24, 2021, at Mt Young, he unlawfully discharged a firearm at Emi Balcombe of Langley Park. The matter against Butler was dismissed on January 21 due to Balcombe not appearing for the trial.