By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
WITNESSES in a high-profile death threat case were no-shows for the trial yesterday when two men were accused of making threats against then Bamboo Town parliamentarian Branville McCartney.
Due to the absence of the witnesses, Court No.6 Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans said there would be no further adjournments after October 29, the new date for the trial.
The Magistrate said that the prosecution must bring its case on that date or 35-year-old Mighty Sparticus Moncur and 31-year-old Livingston Bullar Jr would be discharged.
Moncur of Seven Hills and Bullard Jr of Sir Lynden Pindling Estates are accused of making threats on April 28, 2011 to kill McCartney and Dereka Miller.
It is claimed that the men went to McCartney’s law firm and threatened to kill the then-parliamentarian. A threat was also made against Miller, McCartney’s employee.
The two accused were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court a week later on the two counts of threats of death. The case was adjourned to May 16, 2011 for a trial date to be set in Court No.6.
The trial date was set for September 30 of last year. However, the prosecution indicated to the court that it was not ready to proceed with the case.
Crown prosecutors said at that time that the police had just recently forwarded the case to the Attorney General’s office for review.
Magistrate Vogt-Evans said it was unacceptable that the matter was not ready to proceed when the court had reshuffled its calendar to accommodate the matter.
The five witnesses, who were all present and ready to give testimony, were asked to return to court on December 16.
However, the case did not proceed on that date because there was an emergency and the Magistrate could not deal with the matter. The case was adjourned to February 24, this year and then again to yesterday, September 20.
In yesterday’s proceedings, Magistrate Vogt-Evans called for the accused to enter court so that the case could start.
She then had her court officer call for the witnesses to see how many would be testifying.
Moncur and Bullard Jr entered court when their names were called and stood before the Magistrate. However, the officer returned to the court room to announce that no witnesses had appeared.
Prosecutor Linda Evans told the magistrate that unsuccessful attempts had been made to contact the five witnesses.
Magistrate Vogt-Evans said it was disgraceful for the case not to have started after nearly a year, the first scheduled trial date being September 30, 2011.
Shortly after this remark, Roger Minnis, attorney for the accused men entered court and was informed that the matter would be adjourned for a final time to October 29.
Mr Minnis inquired as to whether any of the witnesses in the case had shown to court. “No” he was told.
He asked if the matter would be disposed if the prosecution did not proceed with its case on the new trial date.
“What you think?” was the magistrate’s answer.