An eight-woman, one-man jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on all counts yesterday for the two men now convicted of the attempted murder and attempted armed robbery of a police superintendent yesterday.
Maurice Armbister, 23, of Faith Avenue and Excell Josey, 21, a Ball’s Alley resident sat emotionless in the Supreme Court as the guilty verdicts were handed down yesterday before Supreme Court Justice Carolita Bethel.
Superintendent Clayton Fernander was shot on April 10, 2013 shortly after he pulled up to his St. Vincent Road home.
He was shot multiple times about the upper body including the arm and hand.
According to Supt. Fernander, although he was armed at the time, he was unable to use his gun because he was shot in the hand.
Armbrister, was also found guilty of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition – namely, a black and silver Smith and Wesson .45 pistol with 29 .45 bullets.
His family wept in the back of the courtroom as the verdict was read.
Supt. Fernander, who’s injured right arm is still in a sling, said he is happy to be alive and thanked God that his would-be killers were found guilty.
He said his near death experience is one he would never forget and added that the verdict is the “Swift Justice at its best.”
“With respect to the case, I’m so happy and very pleased with the decision made by the jury,” he said after the verdict was handed down.
“When you look at this trial for the whole month and the case presented by the prosecution, the evidence given was overwhelming. The prosecution, including the investigators gave an excellent presentation. You see Swift Justice at its finest in this trial.”
Supt. Fernander also expressed gratitude and thanked his family, friends and fellow Bahamians who kept him in their prayers.
The brave police officer said now it is time to get back to work.
“For me right now, I’m pretty much good,” he said.
“As you can see my hands are moving, I’m still doing therapy and I’m pretty much ready for active duty. Commissioner of police, (your) superintendent (is) reporting for duty.”
Meanwhile, attorney Wayne Munroe, who represented Armbrister said he plans to appeal the guilty verdict.
“We have a process,” he said.
“The next step is sentencing and the step after that, you can’t file a notice of appeal until a sentence is imposed. I’ve been instructed to appeal. So by the time we come in May, we should have the draft of that. Then we will file that and the next step is the Court of Appeal.”
Jiaram Mangra, who represented Josey, said he will have to wait and see what his client wants to after sentencing to determine their next move.
“They [defendants] have been properly represented and have gone through the entire trial process until we got to the verdict, which the jury delivered today (Wednesday),” he said.
“We will wait for the sentencing hearing and then take instructions thereafter.”
The men will return to court on May 16 at 2:00 p.m. to be sentenced.