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Magistrate Discharges Man For Lockdown Violation

By FARRAH JOHNSON

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAGISTRATE discharged a man who violated a weekend lockdown after the accused said he only went across the street to get something from his car.

Jamal Jones, 31, appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney after officers found him on Cowpen Road around 6.10pm on Saturday, June 6. He pleaded guilty, but said that he only left his home to go “right across the street” to get something from his car. Prosecutor Kendrick Bauld told the court that evening, officers on mobile patrol in the Cowpen Road area observed a male on the side of the road standing near a car. Sgt Bauld said when questioned by officers, Jones said the car was his. Jones also told them he lived across the street and had only gone outside to get something from his car. After hearing the facts, Magistrate McKinney noted that his explanation matched the initial statement he gave police and granted Jones a complete discharge.

Meanwhile, officers found James Juste, 26, on Robinson Road around 11.45pm on June 12. He pleaded guilty to violating the national curfew and was fined $500 or three months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services. Prosecutor Bauld said when Juste was interviewed at a nearby station, he told officers he was by his aunt’s house and had left to bring his mother’s medication to her. When given an opportunity to speak, Juste told the magistrate that his mother was asthmatic. He claimed that he got a call from his sister telling him that their mother was “acting up,” so he tried to see if he “could make it back home to be with her.” James admitted that he was intoxicated at the time.

Officers found Laton Pinder, 27, on Moonshine Drive around 9.08pm on June 7. He pleaded guilty to the curfew violation and was placed on 12 months’ probation. The court heard that officers on mobile patrol that night observed the defendant walking. When they stopped and questioned him, he told them that he was walking home, but realised that he left his key “by his boy,” so he went there to retrieve them.

During the hearing, Pinder told the magistrate that he had gone to a friend’s home “two or three houses down” from his to wash his car earlier that day. He claimed that he and his family were hungry and washing cars was his “only income” for the time being. As a result, Magistrate McKinney placed Pinder on probation for a year. Still, he warned the defendant that if he violated the emergency orders again he would be fined $500 or face six months at BDCS.

The weekend lockdown was discontinued on June 12, however a daily curfew remains in effect from 9pm-5am.

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