Juveniles charged with island’s first and second murders

JUVENILES CHARGED – Two juveniles ages 15 and 16, were hauled before the courts under heavy police guard on Thursday, January 11 for the murders that occurred on January 1 and 4 here on Grand Bahama. (PHOTOS: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

With heads and faces covered to conceal their identities, two juveniles were escorted into the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre, yesterday (Thursday, January 11), where they were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court for the island and country’s first two murders of the year.

The teens, 15 and 16, appeared before Magistrate Rengin Johnson in Court #3 on Murder charges. The duo was also charged with Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Johnson expressed her disappointment with one of the accused juveniles, who had appeared before her in the past.

She pointed out during the proceedings that his guardian had promised to look after him and keep him on a 7:00 p.m. curfew that was ordered previously.

The guardian, who attended the arraignment, admitted that his charge had been obeying his curfew up until the night of the incident, he is alleged to have committed.

The juveniles, who did not enter a plea in the Magistrate’s Court, are expected to enter a plea on January 25 before the Juvenile Panel.

They were remanded to The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services until that time.

Their court appearance came as a result of the island’s first murder of the year, which took place New Year’s Day (January 1) and the second homicide on January 4.

In the first incident, police were called to the Gladstone Terrace area where they discovered the body of a male with gunshot wounds.

EMS personnel were called to the scene and reported no signs of life.

Ulean Augustine, wife of the man believed to be the first victim Joel Augustine, spoke to this daily outside the court house yesterday about her loss.

Augustine noted that the family is grieving, particularly her youngest son who is taking the death of his father especially hard. “We are taking things one day at a time.”

She described her late husband being a loving husband and father and a hardworking man.

“He worked hard for us,” she said.

The second murder occurred at popular nightspot downtown late Thursday, January 4.

Chief Superintendent of Police and Officer-in-Charge of the Central Division, Wendell Smith, spoke to media at the scene of the fatal shooting.

He revealed that sometime around 10:40 p.m. police received a call regarding a shooting at the West Mall Shopping Complex located on West Mall Drive.

“Officers responded to the scene. Preliminary information is that a male who was seated in the establishment was accosted and would have received apparent gunshots,” he said.

Smith added that the victim ran outside of the club after the assailants, where he collapsed. Emergency Medical Services (EMS personnel) was called to the scene and reported no signs of life.

The second victim is believed to be Tevin Roberts.

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