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Four Men Facing Murder Charges

From left, Bernard Taylor, Ombre Moss, Roobens Elusme and Cleophus Smith.

From left, Bernard Taylor, Ombre Moss, Roobens Elusme and Cleophus Smith.

By Nico Scavella

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

A 20-year-old man accused of murdering a former police officer yesterday claimed he was beaten with a bat by police while in custody for the crime.

Roobens Elusme, who is accused of murdering Marco Meadows, a former constable, said he was beaten with a bat in the head and about the body while incarcerated for the New Year’s Day murder. He was one of four men charged with murder and murder related offences yesterday, all of whom alleged brutality or impropriety by police. 

Two of those men, Cleophus Smith and Bernard Anthony Taylor aka “Bats”, both claimed police are targeting young men from the Ridgeland Park area. Both accused men claimed an unknown police “boss” has ordered that “everyone” from Ridgeland Park be taken “off the road” and incarcerated.

In Taylor’s words, the officer said: “Send everybody who is be in Ridgeland to jail or kill them before February.”

Concerning Elusme, it is alleged that on January 1, he murdered Meadows, who had just celebrated his 36th birthday.

Police said that the victim was walking along Third Street, The Grove when he was approached by two men in a black vehicle. They emerged from the vehicle and opened fire, fatally injuring the victim who was shot multiple times about the body.

Police eventually received a call of gunshots at Third Street, just south of Palm Tree Avenue. Once officers arrived on the scene, they met Meadows lying on Third Street suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prior to being remanded, Elusme claimed he was beaten by officers. He said he has requested to seek medical attention from Friday, but those requests were denied by police officers.

Elusme further claimed he has been coughing up blood, and has suffered injuries to his wrists. He said he asked police to allow him to seek medical attention, but was told it made little sense to wait six to seven hours waiting to see a doctor when he could simply see a doctor at the prison upon his remand.

To that allegation, the chief magistrate said if true, she finds it “inappropriate” that such a comment should be made to an accused person.

Smith, of Nassau Village, meanwhile, is accused of murdering Keion Butler on August 13, 2019, and attempting to murder both Chavez McPhee and Marvin Tilme that same date. Police claim Smith was one of two people armed with firearms who approached Butler, McPhee and Tilme as they sat in a yard on Amos Street and discharged their weapons in their direction.

McPhee and Tilme were said to have been in stable condition after the shooting, while Butler perished.

However, Smith told the chief magistrate that while incarcerated, McPhee, who was in the cell next to him in connection with another murder investigation, told him how officers were beating him to get him to participate in an interview that would incriminate him so police could “take me off the road” because their “boss” was telling them to “take everyone out Ridgeland off the road”.

The chief magistrate noted Smith’s claims, but said she would not get into the particulars of his allegations as those claims are matters to be ventilated in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Taylor and 18-year-old Ombre Moss were both charged in connection with Jermaine Williams’ murder on December 30. Police claim both men conspired to kill Williams on December 29, and Moss carried out the plan the following day.

Williams, police said, was the man found dead at Second Street, The Grove, with gunshot injuries shortly after 2am on December 30.

However, Taylor claimed he was picking up his girlfriend from work at Fusion Superplex at the time the offence against him is said to have occurred. He also said he was wearing an ankle monitoring device at the time.

Moss, meanwhile, claimed that he was placed in a body bag and suffocated with a plastic bag by police officers. He also said he was beaten by police, claiming: “They was punching me in my face and hitting my head to the floor.”

None of the accused men were required to enter pleas to their respective charges and their matters were adjourned to February for service of their voluntary bills of indictment (VBI). Bail was denied and they were remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) in the interim.

They have a right to apply to the Supreme Court for bail.

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