Omeka Henry who was committed to stand trial five years ago for the murder of her partner, was yesterday granted $50,000 bail by Justice Winston Patterson when she made her first appearance facing the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Justice Patterson acceded to the granting of bail shortly after defence counsel Simone Morris-Ramlall informed the court that she only found out two days prior that her client was indicted for manslaughter and not murder as they had initially thought. She stressed that manslaughter is a bailable offence and as such asked that her client be granted same.
Justice Patterson said that he found this development “very strange,” since when the list of cases was published the defence attorney would have noticed that she was indicted for manslaughter. He said based on the circumstances he was inclined to grant bail in a sum that the now 33-year-old mother of one could afford.
“It is unfortunate that this only came to your attention two days ago. There has been some lapse somewhere,” he told Morris-Ramlall before advising the lawyers from both sides to discuss the issue of bail “at an affordable sum which would ensure that you will be out of prison until your trial date comes”. Morris-Ramlall and State prosecutors Judith Gildharie-Mursalin and Teshana James-Lake had a brief discussion, after which bail was granted with no objections from the State.
Justice Patterson noted that Henry’s situation was one of concern because he had been informed that she had a six-year-old child who was being cared for by an aunt. He stressed that Henry is entitled to her day in court.
When the matter was initially called, Morris-Ramlall said that her client was no longer inclined to “take that course which would have brought a speedy resolution to the matter.”
Later, a neatly dressed Henry, in addressing the court, asked for her trial to start as early as possible since she had already been incarcerated for almost five years.
On October 30, 2006, at Farm, Mahaicony, Henry allegedly murdered 58-year-old Wilkinson Halley, called ‘Wilkie.’
Reports are that the two had an argument, which escalated when Halley was stabbed once in the chest with a knife after Henry claimed that he had attacked her with a cutlass. The two were home alone with their then one-year-old daughter.