Two men were escorted into the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre to face Armed Robbery charges in the Freeport Magistrate Court on Monday (August 12) morning.
Isaiah Walkine, 25, who was clad in a gray T-shirt and olive-green pants and Jamal LaRoda, 25, wearing a pink polo shirt and jeans walked into the courthouse to face their charges and to make complaints of their own.
A small crowd gathered, as the handcuffed men were being taken inside separately, flanked by police officers.
As LaRoda exited the police vehicle, a female spectator spoke to the young man as he was being escorted inside the building. “Relax,” she told him. “Follow instructions … we got this.”
The two men were charged with Armed Robbery and Causing Grievous Harm in Magistrate Court #2. The duo appeared before Magistrate Charlton Smith.
Isaiah Walkine, a resident of Young Fall Drive, Holmes Rock and LaRoda were accused of robbing Marion Bethel of $2,050 on Saturday, August 3, 2019.
Police reports revealed that shortly after 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, a lone gunman entered a business establishment in the downtown area, brandishing a firearm and demanded cash not related to the business and fled the area on foot.
During court, Walkine alleged that he was coached into saying that he was guilty of this crime, because officers threatened his life while he was being held at the Central Detective Unit (CDU).
“They tell me I’d never see the light of day again,” he claimed. “They tell me I would never be able to see my child.”
LaRoda also made claims against CDU officers.
He alleged that he was beaten at the CDU.
His attorney Simone Brown told the Magistrate that her client’s hand was injured as a result of this alleged beating and was still swollen at the time of the arraignment.
“They were masked and would’ve dragged him out of his cell in the middle of the night,” she alleged.
LaRoda maintained that he also saw a woman standing in the corner of the room, where he was beaten holding a stick and a condom, describing the object as a gold-wrapped Magnum.
“I’m scared to go back there, to Central. I don’t want to go back there, because I have a heart condition and I can’t take it,” he claimed.
He maintained that he has mitral valve prolapse (MVP), which is a condition where the two valve flaps of the mitral valve do not close smoothly or evenly, but instead bulge or prolapse upward into the left atrium.
LaRoda stated that he had a heart attack when he was younger and admitted that he was prescribed medication for it but stopped taking them.
Brown asked that her client be taken to receive medical treatment before being transferred to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS).
LaRoda also told Magistrate Smith that earlier that morning, before he was transferred to the courthouse, officers allegedly threatened him again, saying that they would arrest his girlfriend and charge her with armed robbery as well.
The two men were not required to enter a plea due to the nature of the matter and were advised to apply to the Supreme Court for bail.
“I will make a note of the complaints you have made,” Magistrate Smith told the men.
The magistrate added that he would also make a note to have LaRoda seen by a physician at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH), before he is remanded.
The pair will be remanded to the BDCS until trial on Monday, September 30, 2019.
Before this arraignment another male, Deshawn Anthony Rolle, 23, of #54B Smith Circle was arraigned for Negligently Causing Grievous Harm in court #2 before Magistrate Smith.
He was not required to enter a plea and was remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services until trial on the November 12, 2019.
Rolle’s court appearance was in connection to a matter reported to police on Thursday, August 8, 2019 when a female was taken into the Rand Memorial Hospital, via private vehicle, with a gunshot wounds to the chest.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the incident occurred at a business establishment on Midshipmen Road, where three adult males and two females allegedly made use of an illegal firearm, when it reportedly discharged hitting one of the females in the chest area.
She was initially listed in serious, but stable condition.
Further updates revealed that the shooting victim is still in stable condition and progressing.
Emerson Andrews was also charged Monday afternoon before Magistrate Smith with breach of the Liquor License Act.
Allegedly on August 9, 2019, Andrews was found in possession of seven bottles of Eclipse beer that he had intended to sell without a license
That matter was adjourned to Thursday, August 27, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. Bail was set at $500 with one surety.