(Trinidad Express) Ten charges, including that of murdering PC Sherman Maynard during a daring midday prison break in Port of Spain on July 24, were read to prison escapee Christopher “Monster” Selby when he appeared in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar presided over the hearing in the Eighth Magistrate’s Court.
This, under the watchful eyes of several police officers who earlier brought Selby, 30, to the courthouse from Central Police Station on St Vincent Street.
Some of Selby’s relatives were also present in court during the hearing.
A section of the street directly outside the courthouse was barricaded. This prevented the flow of vehicular traffic along the roadway for the duration of time Selby was in the building.
He, along with Allan “Scanny” Martin, 42, and Hassan Atwell, 41, escaped from the Remand Prison on Frederick Street two Fridays ago.
Shortly after their escape, Martin, who was an accused in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial, was shot dead by police in a security booth at the Port of Spain General Hospital, a short distance away from the jail.
Atwell was said to be murdered by members of the Rasta City gang in Port of Spain the following night.
Two days after the escape, Selby surrendered himself to officers of the Barataria Police Station.
He was brought to court around 9.30 a.m. by officers attached to the Court and Process Branch but was not taken before the Chief Magistrate until shortly before noon.
As he stood in the prisoners’ dock, Ayers-Caesar read the charges which alleged:
“On Friday July 24, 2015, at the Port of Spain Prison located at 103A Frederick Street, Port of Spain, you together with others:
- Did murder PC Sherman Maynard;
- Had in your possession a firearm, not being the holder of a Firearm User’s Licence;
- Did unlawfully commit the act of common assault on (prison officer) Kerron Prime;
- Did unlawfully commit the act of common assault on (prison officer) Jean Marc Hernandez;
- Did unlawfully commit the act of common assault on (prison officer) Nicholas Singh;
- Did shoot at (prison officer) Leon Grouse with intent to do grievous bodily harm;
- Did shoot at (police officer) Tisean Francis with intent to do grievous bodily harm;
- Did escape lawful custody;
- At New Street, Port of Spain, and being armed with a firearm robbed Javid Ramcharitar of a Nissan Navara van valued at $200,000;
- Being armed with a firearm, robbed the State of Trinidad and Tobago of two keys together valued at $140.”
Selby was not called upon to plead to any of the charges as they were all laid indictably.
However, defence attorney Criston J Williams, who, along with Darryl Worrel appeared for the accused, submitted that even though the charges were indictable, he wished to “adopt a particular course” on the charge of escaping lawful custody.
That charge, he said, could be heard either indictably or summarily.
He called on police prosecutor Insp Winston Dillon to make a recommendation for the charge to be summarily heard, for Selby to plead guilty and have a plea in mitigation entered on his behalf.
In response, Dillon said: “At this point I am not in a position to assist counsel.”
Dillion said he was not willing to make any recommendations on any of the charges, given that the matters had to be referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for guidance.
He further added that eventually a State attorney from the DPP’s Office will have to be appointed to prosecute Selby. Based on this, he said, he could not make any decision on how the matters go forward.
Selby was remanded into custody at the Frederick Street jail and will next return to court on September 1.