A marine was asleep at his post while on sentry duty at Government House, when his commanding officer was murdered, a jury heard yesterday.
Leading Seaman Leonardo Forbes admitted to dereliction of duty when he testified at the trial of Marine Jevon Seymour.
Seymour, who is on bail, is on trial for the April 28, 2019 murder of Petty Officer Percival Perpall and the attempted murders of marines Ellis Rahming and Calvin Hanna.
Forbes testified that he was awoken by the sound of two gunshots in the early morning hours of April 28, 2019.
Forbes said he was “a bit stunned” and dashed toward the door of the guard booth at the Baillou Hill Road entrance.
According to Forbes, he saw a person dressed in camouflage fatigues, or battle dress uniform, running down the stairs from the guard room toward the garage. Forbes said all of the defense force officers on duty that morning were wearing camouflage.
Forbes said he assumed the person was Marine Seaman Calvin Hanna, whom he had relieved from sentry duty several hours earlier.
After reporting for duty at 12:40 a.m. for his midnight to 8 a.m. shift, Forbes testified that he was going to shut the entrance gate, but Hanna told him to leave it open.
The gate is normally closed once everyone reports for duty, he said.
Forbes said that Hanna gave him a 9mm Beretta pistol, which was loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, and a holster.
Forbes said he sat in a black chair and placed the gun inside the block, which he used as a footrest. The door to the guard booth also remained open, Forbes testified.
Forbes said when he awoke to the sound of gunshots, he realized his weapon was missing.
He admitted that this was not the first time that he had rested his firearm inside a block.
Defense lawyer Murrio Ducille questioned Forbes about his assumption that the person he saw running away was Hanna.
Forbes replied, “I wasn’t fully conscious. I thought it was Hanna because he was the last person I saw. I couldn’t see his face.”
Ducille asked, “Do you know the size or the height of the person.”
Forbes replied, “He wasn’t slim for sure.”
The jury forewoman asked Forbes whether he was required to have his gun holstered to his pants.
Forbes replied, “I know it was a careless act, but that’s not the first time.”
The juror asked, “Are you supposed to be asleep while on duty?”
Forbes said, “That’s just human error.”