Young man dies at drug arraignment

A 26-year-old suspect with a history of epileptic seizures died in court Monday morning before his scheduled arraignment.

Jermaine Adderley, of Dorchester Street, who was charged last year with having ecstasy, marijuana, and prescription drugs, was arrested on new charges on January 10.

Prosecutors allege that Adderley, Michael Newland, 39, and Tristan Johnson, 18, were found with 7.8 ounces of marijuana, 187 ecstasy pills, 21 grams of ecstasy powder, which they intended to supply and possession of one gram of cocaine.

Adderley’s lawyer, Keith Seymour, was present in court for his client’s final moments.

He told the court that Adderley was in distress when he arrived at Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes’ courtroom around 10:30 a.m. for the arraignment.

Seymour was visibly shaken when he recounted Adderley’s death to members of the media.

Seymour said, “I saw where court attendants were assisting my client who had a seizure. Everybody in court was concerned, but we really didn’t know the extent of what was happening.

“People were trying to assist him, giving him water.”

Seymour said that as Adderley’s co-accused, Johnson, “tried to hold him and calm him down”, he shouted that he was in excruciating pain.

Seymour said, “We just saw that he stopped breathing and one of the court officials said I believe he’s dead.”

Despite Adderley’s history of seizures, Seymour said that his client did not request any medication since his arrest.

Seymour said that Adderley appeared in good health when he saw him at the Drug Enforcement Unit on Saturday.

Seymour said that he had developed a rapport with Adderley, whom he had represented for several years.

He said, “He was someone who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. When you build a relationship, a rapport with a client, to see something like that happen, you feel it.”

Meanwhile, Adderley’s co-accused denied the charges against them when they appeared before Magistrate Jeanine Weech-Gomez Monday afternoon.

They were denied bail and return to court for trial on April 1.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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