Magistrate reluctantly obeys DPP’s orders

first_imgCrum-Ewing’s murder trial…maintains insufficient evidence presented to courtPrincipal Magistrate Judy Latchman on Monday reluctantly committed Regan “Grey Boy” Rodrigues to stand trial in the High Court for the 2015 murder of Courtney Crum-Ewing.In tears, Rodrigues stood as Magistrate Latchman disclosed to him that she was compelled by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to commit him to stand trial for the murder even as she maintained that there was insufficient evidence to do so.Regan “Grey Boy” RodriguesAccording to Latchman, based on orders from a High Court Judge after the DPP sought an intervention, she had to reluctantly comply having lost an appeal for a stay of execution, that is, a delay in carrying out a court order in the matter.Special Prosecutor in the case, Nigel Hughes spoke to Guyana Times following the committal and noted that the DPP has the power to direct a magistrate, in this case Latchman, on the matter.In 2017, following the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into Crum-Ewing’s murder, Latchman had announced that the evidence presented to the court was not sufficient and a prima facie case was not made out against Rodrigues .She highlighted evidence given by the Crime Scene Analyst, Delicia Brown, whose submission to the court revealed that the .32 pistol, along with five .32 bullets, found at the accused’s home was indeed the gun used in the execution of Crum-Ewing.However, she stated that no actual evidence was presented to the court to prove that Rodrigues pulled the trigger, thus committing the heinous act.She also noted that the oral statements given by Rodrigues during the course of the investigation did not implicate him in the killing. As such, the Magistrate told the court that the accused has no case to answer to, as the evidence that the tribunal might request was not available.Upon hearing the decision, Rodrigues burst into tears and as he was being led back into the lock-ups, he screamed, “Freedom! Freedom!”However, the DPP subsequently issued a letter to the Magistrate instructing her to reverse her decision to commit Rodrigues to the High Court for trial.In part, the letter stated, “In accordance with section 72 (2) (ii) (a) of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act, Chapter 10:01, I hereby … direct you to comply with Sections 65 and 66 of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act, Chapter 10:01, with a view of committing the accused.”The letter was read to Rodrigues , who broke down in tears, falling to his knees and questioning why he was being faced with such “injustice”.Magistrate Latchman had refused to comply with the order and had told the accused that she would not be committing him as she was maintaining that the evidence presented to her was not sufficient for her to do so.Latchman’s ruling made it the third time Rodriquez would have been freed of the murder, the first time being in 2016.However, in April of 2017, he was rearrested after the DPP ordered that the case be reopened.According to the DPP, “The sole purpose of this remit is to take further evidence from Police witnesses and to rule on the voluntariness of all oral statements of the accused.”Crum-Ewing was gunned down as he was at the time urging residents of Diamond, East Coast Demerara, to cast their ballots in the May 2015 election.He was shot twice to the temple, once to the back of the head, and twice to the stomach. (Kizzy Coleman)last_img

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