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American Men Granted Bail on Bimini Manslaughter

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Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt yesterday granted bail to two American men charged with manslaughter in connection with the stabbing death of an American man on Bimini last Friday.

Tyler Michael Valles, 19, a resident of Key Largo, Florida and Robert Francis Schwarz, 62, of Connecticut, are accused of the stabbing death of Pennsylvania-native Carl Yerger at the Big Game Club Resort and Marina on Bimini.

They were granted $35,000 bail each which is to be paid in cash.

Chief Magistrate Pratt added that there is no evidence to lead her to think or consider that the accused will not return to The Bahamas for trial.

After the late afternoon bail hearing, though, Valles and Schwarz were remanded to Her Majesty’s Prisons overnight and are expected to head back to court today to sort out their bail matter.

Attorney Wayne Munroe, who represents both men, initially asked the chief magistrate to consider bail and told reporters outside of court that he was happy it was granted.

He noted that his clients are charged with manslaughter which he said is not a capital offense and is therefore within the purview of bail.

Mr. Munroe, during his argument as to why his clients should be granted bail, cited the Daniel Ayo case from 2010 noting that the appellate court upheld a magistrate’s decision to grant that defendant bail even though, Ayo, who unlike the two men in the current case, was charged with the capital offense of murder.

Ayo, a Florida resident, was charged with the murder of Jamaican-native Clyde Tomlison.

Mr. Munroe also pointed out that Ayo, like his clients, was also an American visitor who returned for his trial.

The attorney told the court that Yerger was in a state of intoxication and on two occasions last Friday, he tried to gain access to the boat that his clients occupied.

A struggle ensued leading to Yerger’s death.

Deputy Director of Prosecutions Franklyn Williams represented the crown in the matter and opposed bail.
The matter will resume on May 19 at noon.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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