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Murder victim found in Pinewood Gardens

The country’s murder rate neared 100 with the shooting death of Darren Rolle, whose body was found in Pinewood Gardens Saturday morning.

According to police, Rolle was found in front of an apartment complex on Buttonwood Drive around 7 am. He had a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Rolle did not live in Pinewood and investigators are trying to figure out who brought him there, who killed him and why.

The Nassau Guardianunderstands that Rolle went out on Friday night. It is believed he was dead several hours before his body was discovered.

Rolle’s murder is the 94th murder recorded for the year, seven more than 2009’s previous record of 87.

Police have charged suspects in 65 of the murders recorded this year. However, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said recently government was not satisfied with the quality of police investigations.

Ingraham said,”We are fairly satisfied that the police are locating the criminals. We are not totally satisfied with the investigative work prior to the charge-that the work going to court is done in total accordance with what is required to withstand defense counsel.”

Leon Bethell, the commanding officer of the Central Detective Unit, said yesterday that solving crime was the responsibility of the Bahamian public when he was asked about the low conviction rates for serious crimes. By contrast, Bethell boasted about the force’s murder detection rate, which he said was”admirable”in an article published in this paper on December 15.

According to Bethell, he does not worry about the outcome of cases tried in the Supreme Court. Bethell, a lawyer who has never practised in the criminal courts, said he”has a clear conscience”that his office is doing its best work.

However, the courts don’t seem to agree. Magistrates have determined that police have produced insufficient evidence for cases to be tried in the Supreme Court and suspects are often given bail shortly after their arrest because of the tenuous evidence against them.

This year, Trent Davis was freed on bail weeks after his arrest for the murder of prison Sergeant Julian Strachan after prosecutors conceded the evidence against him was weak. Just last week, the Court of Appeal quashed the murder conviction of Frank Pinder after deciding the evidence could not sustain the conviction.

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