Three Accused In Murder Cases Are In Sandilands


Tribune Staff Reporter


THREE men with pending murder cases awaiting transfer to the Supreme Court were not present in court yesterday because they are in the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre being monitored.

Krysta Mason-Smith appeared in Magistrate’s Court on behalf of brothers Dwayne and Samuel Heastie, who each face a murder charge for the September 18 fatal shooting of Richmond Jean at the exclusive Palm Cay community.

Jean was fatally shot in the head during an argument with a man.

Ms Mason-Smith also represents Samuel Mackey in a separate matter concerning the March 6 beating death of Patrick McKenzie, a toddler who was taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital in an unresponsive state around 9pm that day and pronounced dead a short while later.

In yesterday’s proceedings before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, the Heastie brothers and Mackey were notably absent.

A letter from Dr Heastings Johnson noted that the Heastie brothers were presently at the facility and were unfit to appear in court.

Mackey, meanwhile, has been at the institution for some time since his initial arraignment in Magistrate’s Court days after McKenzie’s death.

Both matters were further adjourned to December 10.

In a bail application recently made in the Supreme Court on Dwayne Heastie’s behalf, Ms Mason-Smith, among other submissions, asked the court to consider the declining medical health of the applicant who, according to forensic psychiatrist Dr John Dillett, is “undergoing significant emotional stress” and “developing a depressive episode.”

Justice Gregory Hilton, however, found that “while there is a concern, in my view, there is not sufficient evidence of a medical nature to cause the court to be moved to grant bail to the applicant on this basis alone.”

“In the present state of circumstances in the Bahamas, there is a record rate of the offence of murder. There is a breakdown in public order and a consequential depreciation in public safety,” the judge said in denying the contractor bail at an earlier hearing.

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