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St James teacher gets yet another committal date

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Kerry-Ann Cunningham, the St James teacher charged in connection with the death of Anchovy Primary School student Easton Stapleton, had her committal hearing deferred yet again when she appeared in the St James Parish Court on Thursday.

Thursday’s deferral makes it the Cunningham’s sixth appearance in court to answer a charged of causing death by dangerous driving. The committal hearing is to determine whether she would stand trial in the St James Circuit Court or if the case will stay in the parish court.

The new hearing date for the teacher is April 24, when she will again appear before presiding parish judge Annette Austin, who had previously deferred the ruling in order to examine legal submissions made by Cunningham’s lawyer, Jacqueline Minto.

Prior to Cunningham’s court appearance yesterday, her committal hearing had been scheduled for November 14 last year. At that time, the date was rescheduled to December 5 and then to February 27, as the prosecution had not completed full disclosure of documents.

The hearing was then set for April 3, but on that day, it was rescheduled to Wednesday’s date after Minto made her submissions before the parish judge. Minto argued that Cunningham should not have to undergo trial in the Circuit Court.

The allegations in the case are that at approximately 4 p.m. on June 12, 2018, Cunningham was reversing her motor car on the compound of the Anchovy Primary School when she lost control of the vehicle. The car struck and killed Stapleton before crashing into a wall.

During the incident, a section of the damaged wall also collapsed and injured a vendor.

Cunningham, who was traumatised after the incident, had to be hospitalised. Classes at the school were suspended the following day.

After subsequent police investigations, Cunningham was arrested and charged. She was offered station bail prior to making her first court appearance on July 10 last year.