Twin murder-accused denied bail
A St James man, who was arrested in connection with two murders committed over a three-year period, was denied bail and remanded in custody when he appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Cibone Smith, of a Barrett Town address, is charged with the murders of Joshua Reid and Haniff Sinclair, also of Barrett Town addresses. Reid was shot dead outside his home by an unknown assailant on June 8, 2012, and Sinclair was shot and killed while walking with friends on August 31, 2014.
It is alleged that, following Reid's death, Smith was pointed out in an identification parade and subsequently arrested and charged. He was arrested again after being pointed out to the police in connection with Sinclair's murder.
On Tuesday, clerk of the court Paula-Sue Ferguson expressed strong opposition to Smith getting bail on the grounds that the second offence was committed while he was on bail for the first offence.
"For obvious reasons, the prosecution would be opposed to bail," Ferguson told Resident Magistrate (RM) Ann-Marie Granger. "The accused has two matters before the court, one of which was committed while he was on bail, and there is the possibility he might interfere with the witnesses."
However, attorney-at-law Albert Morgan, who is representing Smith, rubbished the claims made against his client by the prosecution.
"He (Smith) denies that he was the person the witness saw on that night in June 2012, when the deceased (Reid) was murdered, and he was nowhere near that scene on that night of the second case (in August 2014). He can mount a good defence in respect of both matters," Morgan said.
However, the judge sided with the prosecution, saying she was concerned about the safety of the witnesses.
"I do not believe at the moment that I would want to grant the application for bail. I, too, would be concerned for the safety of the witnesses," RM Granger replied.
Smith was subsequently remanded in custody until December 4 when the two cases against him will again be mentioned.
- Christopher Thomas