By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO police officers testified in the Supreme Court yesterday that a suspect detained in custody concerning a triple murder had to be restrained to prevent him from committing suicide.
However, Corporal Brian Stubbs and Corporal Derrick McIntosh had different accounts of the number of officers present during the incident involving Shawn Knowles on August 3, 2011.
Knowles, 43, and Timothy Saunders, 36, are on trial before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs concerning a triple murder that had occurred five days before the alleged incident with police.
It is alleged that on July 30, 2011, the men entered the Montgomery Avenue apartment of their victims Edward Braynen, Chackara Rahming and Erica Ward – who was eight months pregnant at the time – and fatally shot all three.
However, the men were not charged with the death of the unborn baby because under Bahamian law a foetus is not considered a person.
Both men have denied the charges.
When questioned by prosecutor Cordell Frazier, Cpl McIntosh said he had worked the midnight to 8am shift on August 3, 2011 at the Central Detective Unit.
“Sometime around 8.10am, I heard some noise and screaming at the back of the cell block,” Cpl McIntosh said.
“I went to check the cell block and I noticed a plate of faeces on the floor and on the walls. I approached the cell where the defendant Shawn Knowles was and I told Knowles I had to move him from the cell. He said they’d taken too long and he’d needed to use the restroom.”
“He got irate and he put his hand to the neck area and he said he had a razor. I went to my immediate supervisor,” the court was told.
The officer said he, Corporal Stubbs and Constable 3324 Cooper returned to the cell. Stubbs attempted to unlock the cell door.
“Knowles was attacking Stubbs’ hand but eventually Stubbs opened the cell. Officer Cooper entered, then Stubbs, then myself. A struggle ensued for a few seconds then I noticed Knowles had blood coming from his face,” Cpl McIntosh said.
Prior to Cpl McIntosh giving testimony, Cpl Stubbs testified that only he and Constable Cooper were present during their attempt to restrain Knowles who appeared to be attempting suicide.
He did say that during the struggle, Constable Cooper might have hit Knowles and broken his nose.
When cross-examined by Knowles’ lawyer, Romona Farquharson-Seymour, Cpl Stubbs was asked if Knowles went to the hospital afterwards.
The witness said he did.
“Did you tell hospital personnel he was suicidal?” the lawyer probed.
Cpl Stubbs said he did not.
“Did you tell the physician he tried to cut his throat?” the lawyer asked. The officer, again, said no.
Mrs Farquharson-Seymour asked the officer if he agreed that his account of the events was not documented in any written report. Cpl Stubbs claimed the report was given to a superior officer at the time.
However, Mrs Farquharson-Seymour suggested to the witness he was concocting a story to cover up that Knowles had already been brutalised in police custody at the Central Police Station before being turned over to CDU.
Cpl Stubbs said this was not the case.
The case resumes today at 2pm.
Saunders is defended by Lennox Coleby.
Randolph Dames is the assisting prosecutor.