Categorized | National News

Fox Hill Men On Murder Charges

The alleged gunmen behind the death of Fox Hill resident, Richard Fowler, who was gunned down on February 12, were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The pair, also Fox Hill residents, were charged with one count of unlawfully and intentionally causing the death of Fowler.

Fowler’s body was found on Tuesday February 12, on a vacant  lot on Bernard Road, shortly after 8pm. Paramedics were called to  the scene, attempted to revive him, but were unsuccessful.

Steffon Rolle 23, and Owen Williams, both represented by attorneys, also claim they were abused and forced to sign documents while in police custody.

Before the charges were read by Deputy Chief Magistrate, Subusola Swain, attorney for Rolle, Bjorn Ferguson, argued that court documents were incomplete as there were no virtual complainants in the matter.

Mr. Ferguson pointed out that the prosecution only had the names of police officers and the pathologist listed, who are formal witnesses and added that these persons cannot make out the offense.

He subsequently  asked  for the names of the witnesses,  as the accused has a fundamental right to know who his accusers are.

Mr. Ferguson stressed that if the prosecution wanted to keep witnesses names private,  the prosecution should have gotten an anonymity order. He  added that if names of witnesses were not provided, the charges could not stand.

Magistrate Swain agreed and advised the prosecutor that the documents needed to be amended to reflect the names of the accusers, or she would refuse to arraign the young men. She  stated that as it was a capital offence case and information could not be hidden that is required by law.

She added that not allowing the accused to know his accusers “can be sighted as human rights abuse” and stated that “the law is the law”.

The Court was  adjourned  to allow the prosecutor to amend the dockets. However, Magistrate Swain returned a short time later and told the court that after being advised, she would read the charges without the witnesses listed, but advised the prosecutor that amendments would need to be made before the pair are served with Voluntary Bill of Indictment (VBI).

After the charges were read, attorneys for both men claimed their clients were physically abused while in police custody.

Both Rolle and Williams gave the Magistrate a detailed report of the alleged beatings.

Rolle claims that a bag was placed over his head while he was hit about the body with an object unknown to him.  He  said  that after biting through the first bag in order to breathe, another plastic bag was placed on his head, this time doubled.

Williams claimed the same, but identified that a two by four wood was continuously dropped on his chest.

Both also said they were taken to hospital for breathing issues. Williams said he was taken to hospital twice,  but only saw the doctor on his second visit.  However, he stated that medicine prescribed to him were not collected by the officers.

Both men were remanded to the Bahamas Department of Corrections until April 12, when they return for service of VBI.

Williams was represented by Latia Williams.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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