Magistrate Judy Latchman yesterday once again freed Regan Rodrigues of the March 10, 2015 murder of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing, saying that the prosecution failed to make a case against him.
The ruling was made by Magistrate Latchman just over two months after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack ordered that the Preliminary Inquiry into the charge against Rodrigues, called ‘Grey Boy,’ be re-opened for additional evidence to be taken from police witnesses.
At yesterday’s hearing, Special Prosecutor Nigel Hughes took further evidence from Inspector Eon Jackson, who identified two packages that were not presented at the previous hearing.
Subsequent to Jackson’s testimony, Detective Assistant Superintendent of Police Mitchell Caesar, who is stationed at the Criminal Investigations Department as the officer-in-charge of Major Crimes Unit, gave fresh evidence.
Caesar was then subjected to cross-examination by Rodrigues.
Prosecutor Hughes then requested that the magistrate rule on 14 oral statements made by Rodrigues.
After reading the oral statements to Rodrigues, the magistrate stated that she found the statements to have been made freely and voluntarily.
The prosecution then closed its case and the proceedings were adjourned for almost an hour before the magistrate handed down her decision.
Magistrate Latchman, in her ruling, said she was satisfied that based on the evidence presented, Crum Ewing was shot with a .32 pistol that was found in a house. However, the magistrate added that there was no evidence that Rodrigues used the gun, pulled the trigger and shot the deceased. She further stated that she took into consideration the 14 oral statements that were made by Rodrigues and found that they in no way implicated him in the murder of Crum-Ewing. She said there was no case for Rodrigues to answer and as a result the murder charge against him was discharged.
After the ruling, Rodrigues sat in the prisoner’s dock and began to sob, resulting in his mother also breaking down into tears and attempting to console him.
On September 14, 2016, Magistrate Latchman had also found that there was no evidence against Rodrigues that implicated him in the murder of Crum-Ewing, who was gunned down in Diamond, while urging persons to vote in the May, 2015 elections.
Rodrigues had been charged in July, 2015 with unlawful possession of a pistol and 14 live rounds of ammunition. The gun was reported to have been linked to the murder of Crum-Ewing and formed the basis for the murder charge. But the charge against him for the weapon did not stick.
The prosecution’s case was that the weapon and ammunition were found on July 13, 2015 at Riverview, Ruimveldt, where the police searched the home of the accused. They conducted a search on Rodrigues’ person but found nothing. They then proceeded to search the house and it was there, under a chair, that they discovered the firearm and ammunition. At the conclusion of his trial for unlawful possession of the gun and ammunition, Rodrigues was cleared by Magistrate Fabayo Azore, who stated that the prosecution had failed to prove that he had had knowledge and possession of the articles.