Men on bail for separate murders shot in separate incidents
Since their release on bail, two suspects in a 2021 murder have been shot in separate incidents this year.
Damutri Thurston, 19, and Jawaun Armbrister, 21, are accused of the September 18, 2021 murder of Devante Brown and the attempted murder of Valverde Brown.
The charges stem from a shooting on Carmichael Road, near Meat Max.
On May 6, gunmen ambushed Armbrister as he returned to his home in Bain Town. As a consequence of the shooting, Armbrister is confined to a wheelchair.
Police have since charged Javar Ferguson, 25, with Armbrister’s attempted murder. He, too, was released on bail.
On September 17, police say Thurston and two other men tried to kill Ferguson at Dunmore Street.
Police said three gunmen emerged from a beige Toyota Vitz and fired at Ferguson, hitting him in the arm.
Officers responding to the shooting pursued the Vitz and the chase ended at Fort Fincastle. The officers allegedly seized three guns and found Thurston in the back seat of the car suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Police say he was accidentally shot by his alleged accomplices, who have been charged with attempted murder and other offenses.
Thurston remains in hospital in grave condition. Consequently, he missed a status hearing for his murder and attempted murder on November 18.
Due to Thurston’s condition, Senior Justice Bernard Turner adjourned the case to next February.
The incidents come as some call for more stringent bail policies. Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander, for one, has complained that his officers make arrests, only to see those charged set free.
According to police, most of the murder victims this year were on bail for serious offenses.
On the other hand, in recent decisions, the Court of Appeal has said that bail cannot be refused as punishment for a crime for which a person has not been convicted.
The court said bail cannot be refused because a defendant was already on bail when he or she allegedly committed a similar offense.