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Americans Accused Of Manslaughter Face Delay

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

TWO Americans accused of killing a fellow countryman in Bimini must wait six weeks before their manslaughter case is fast-tracked to the Supreme Court for trial.

Chief Magistrate Joyanne Ferguson-Pratt yesterday expressed her displeasure that 19-year-old Tyler Valles and 62-year-old Robert Schwarz, who were each granted $35,000 cash bail in March, had to return to the Bahamas when the Crown knew it was not in a position to proceed.

She emphasised that sensitivity must be taken into consideration when dealing with the public purse and persons living on the Family Islands and outside the Bahamas.

Terry Archer, a prosecutor in the Attorney General’s office, explained that he was given the file the day of the proceedings as the person who held the brief was in a matter before the Supreme Court.

However, the chief magistrate told Mr Archer that that was no excuse. She added that as he was representing the Attorney General’s office, they should in future inform the lawyer for accused persons travelling overseas on whether they will be proceeding with a matter on the day it is scheduled.

Mr Archer asked the court for an adjournment to June 30, which was accepted by lawyer Wayne Munroe “in the circumstances”.

Two months ago, the Americans were charged with the March 14 manslaughter of 45-year-old Carl David Yerder where it is alleged that together they intentionally caused the death of Yerder by means of unlawful harm.

Yerder, a resident of Fleetwood, PA, was found lying in the grounds of a hotel with stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

After being granted bail they were ordered to return to court on May 19 when the case would be forwarded to the Supreme Court for trial through service of a Voluntary Bill of Indictment.

However, that did not happen yesterday and the matter is now scheduled for June 30 at noon in court no 9.

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