By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Royal Bahamas Defence Force marine charged with murdering his superior at Government House was granted bail on Thursday.
Able Seaman Jevon Seymour was granted $30,000 bail after the Court of Appeal deemed a judge’s decision unreasonable for denying the marine’s bail on July 11.
Seymour must follow the terms of his bail by wearing an ankle monitor, reporting to the Airport/Western Police Station three times a week before 6pm, surrendering his passport and other travel documents to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal and avoiding contact with the Crown’s witnesses.
The panel noted there was no evidence that suggested that Seymour would be a flight risk or a threat to public safety.
A ruling posted on the Court of Appeal’s website noted: “…Although the judge may have been justified in concluding as he did that the appellant might abscond, in the absence of evidence or the ‘substantial grounds’ provided by the Crown which could ground a reasonable belief that the appellant was a threat to public safety or public order; or would interfere with witnesses, the judge’s reasons for refusing bail were unreasonable and flawed.
“The judge chose to base his decision to refuse bail on his conclusion that the appellant might abscond from an inference he drew based upon his ‘findings’ that the offences were serious, the penalties severe and the evidence ‘cogent’. As we have already demonstrated, those were not the only relevant factors he was required to take into account in the exercise of his discretion.”
The ruling added: “Additionally, in spite of the appellant’s good character, his strong family and community ties and his long unblemished record of service with the RBDF, the judge took into account the notorious facts of the high rate of murder in this community and the growing culture of vigilantism (both clearly unconnected by evidence to the appellant) and erroneously connected those notorious facts with the fact that the offences occurred at the residence of the head of state so as to justify his denial of bail to the appellant on the basis that the need for public safety and public order were ‘paramount’. With respect, this conclusion is unfair to the appellant and clearly unreasonable.”
Earlier this year, Seymour, 35, was charged with the shooting death of RBDF Petty Officer Percival Perpall, 52, and the attempted murders of two of his colleagues, Calvin Hanna and Ellis Rahming on April 28.
According to initial police reports, the three officers were attacked while on duty at Government House.
Around 2.30am on the date in question, a man accessed Government House, made his way to the guard house where P/O Perpall, the guard commander, and other officers were, police reported.
According to police, P/O Perpall was seated in the administrative area along with another RBDF marine while others were on break in another area.
The male intruder subsequently opened fire on P/O Perpall, hitting him several times in the upper body before fleeing the premises. He was pursued by alert marines, but escaped.
Paramedics were summoned to the scene where they pronounced P/O Perpall dead.
P/O Perpall enlisted in the RBDF more than 30 years ago and was once a United Nations peacekeeper in Haiti.
Seymour has denied the charges against him.