By FARRAH JOHNSON
A GROUP of friends who claimed they were outside their homes during curfew because they were trying to get something to eat from Wendy’s were fined yesterday.
They were among several people who were charged with curfew or lockdown infractions. Many of those charged claimed they only violated the COVID-19 emergency orders because they were trying to get food, water or medication.
Kendranique Pearce, 20; Jeffrenique Bowleg, 23; Dorne Albury, 20; and Stephen Ferguson, 21, appeared before Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis after police found them on Thompson Boulevard around 9.20am Wednesday.
All of the defendants pleaded guilty to the charge. Pearce was fined $500 or 10 days at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS), while Bowleg was fined $300 or 15 days in prison. Ferguson and Albury on the other hand, were each fined $250 or 10 days in prison.
According to the prosecution, on the day in question, officers on mobile patrol observed a small four door vehicle with four occupants inside and asked them to stop. Officers said they smelled marijuana coming from the car, but did not find anything during their search. When questioned, the driver identified herself as Jeffrenique Bowleg. All of the occupants also told police they were aware of the 24-hour curfew, but were trying to get something to eat.
Meanwhile, Ashton Thompson, 20; Alex Thompson, 19; and Vanhouston Woods were charged after officers found them on Alexandria Boulevard, Nassau Village around 6.45pm on April 19. They pleaded guilty to the charge and were each fined $500 or 20 days in prison.
During the hearing, the Thompsons told Magistrate Rolle-Davis that they left their home to get water so that their diabetic grandfather could take his medication. The boys also said they had no running water in their house because their current had gone off and they got their water from an electric pump. Woods on the other hand, claimed he had left his house to get medication for his uncle who was complaining about back pain.
In another matter, officers found Samatha Ramesy, 44; Fedline Jean, 32; Shamekia Pedican, 44; and Dominic Johnson on Mackey Street around 10.25pm on April 13. All of the defendants pleaded guilty to the charge and were each fined $300 or 15 days at the BDCS, except for Johnson who was fined $350 or 20 days in prison.
Several people also appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney for lockdown violations.
Oral Murphy, 37, was charged after officers found him on Blue Hill Road South around 3am on April 18. He also pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or four months at the BDCS.
Jonathan Kelly, 39, was also charged after he was found by the Pinewood roundabout on Bamboo Boulevard around 2.10am on April 18. He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or four months in prison.
When given an opportunity to speak, he told Magistrate McKinnney that his two-and-a-half-year old daughter was very ill and he left his house to pick her up and take her to the hospital. Still, when Magistrate McKinney asked the prosecutor to read the facts, it was revealed that Kelly did not mention anything about taking his sick daughter to the hospital. He was subsequently fined.
Owen Rolle, 26, was charged after officers found him on Alexandria Boulevard, Nassau Village around 12.40am on April 20. He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or four months in prison.
During the hearing, he told Magistrate McKinney that he was the only breadwinner for his family and his boss asked him to come to work on Monday. Rolle said he accepted the job because he needed the extra money but didn’t have a ride to get to work. He said he only left his house to ask his neighbour right across the street if he would be able to catch a ride with her. He insisted while he knew it was late, he was trying to do what he needed to do to make sure he could get to work.