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DEADLY OUTCOME WARNING OVER BAIL: ‘If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t let my brother get bail’, Monitor company details alert system for police, Carlos Reid – curfew stipulations not being enforced

A man on bail for murder was shot and killed in Nassau Village on November 15.

A man on bail for murder was shot and killed in Nassau Village on November 15.

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Elvardo Deveaux was killed while on bail in 2021.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

and LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

Tribune Staff Reporters

IF Carlisa Davis could rewind time, she wouldn’t let her older brother get bail.

Elvardo Deveaux was 19 when he allegedly killed a man on Maxwell Lane and 22 when he was fatally shot on Milton Street.

After two years on remand, he was released from prison on bail in 2020, excited to taste freedom and eager to see the daughter that came when he was locked up.

“He used to talk to her on the phone, but ain’t nothing like holding your own child in your hands,” Ms Davis recalled in an interview.

Her brother had fears. Would someone retaliate against him? Would he get a job with an ankle bracelet?

He was, Ms Davis said, compliant with his bail conditions, including his curfew, and often spent time with his daughter at night.

“It was so hard for her because before she goes to sleep, every night they would play, and that’s how she would fall asleep,” she said.

In June 2021, Mr Deveaux became part of one of the most significant crime statistics in The Bahamas: men killed while on bail for serious crimes.

Forty-two per cent of murder victims in 2023 fall in this category, according to Carlos Reid, a consultant in the Ministry of National Security. Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander has described bail for serious crimes as a death sentence.

Some relatives of people killed on bail have told The Tribune they don’t regret their role as sureties, insisting their loved ones should never be indefinitely deprived of their freedom, no matter the risks.

“For people out there who rush to say go on bail, ain’t nothing in the road for you,” said Ms Davis. “Just sit up and do your time because the minute you come out, you might be coming out to your death and don’t even know.”

Yesterday, the House of Assembly passed legislation to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from 20 to 25, hoping to reduce the backlog of cases, which causes the delays that help so many get bail.

However, the rate at which people on bail are killed has also put the spotlight on the system that monitors them.

Mr Reid accused Metro Security Solution, the company providing the service, of being ineffective.

“The potential that the system has is not being maximised to a point where it can be used as a crime-fighting device,” he said on Tuesday.

“If the court is saying that they’re putting stipulations where they have a curfew, then why are they not being enforced?

“The police are saying that they can’t enforce it because they’re not getting notification from the monitoring company.”

Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis also expressed concerns about the monitoring system in the House of Assembly yesterday, saying operators need better technology to detect tampering and ways to quickly alert authorities.

“I’ve been advised last week, and I don’t want to go into details, but a member who had an ankle bracelet was wandering all over the place, yet his bracelet showed that he was at home relaxing,” he said. “When the police checked, the bracelet was resting on the bureau in the young man’s home while he was all over doing whatever he chose to do.”

Despite the criticism, people are repeatedly charged in court for failing to charge their electronic monitoring devices or violating curfew.

Orion Bethell, president of Metro Security Solution, said the system is designed to automatically send SMS messages to police officers when someone breaches their bail.

“If somebody was to make any violation, whether it be curfew or whatever it is, we would get an alert in about 20 seconds, and what we will do is we will take that information and we will collect the evidence, pile it up in a report, and we will give that to the police,” he said.

“Let’s just say you broke curfew this morning. We will notify the police this morning.”

He said the company updates the Ministry of National Security every two days and 85 per cent of people wearing ankle bracelets comply with bail conditions.

He said sometimes – such as in the case of George Seymour, who was killed in August –– police fail to respond to their notifications.

He said Metro officials notified police that Seymour had broken his curfew but officers did not respond.

“I remember the names because these are people who could have been alive if somebody could care enough to go do something,” he said. “We had sent a report to the police on August 17 to say that George Seymour was breaking curfew. They did not take action. Three days later, he was killed at Charms nightclub, breaking curfew again.”

Comments

rosiepi 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Why is it that no one points a finger at the accused who made the decision to kill another human being? And if that person did fear retaliation why didn’t they take the necessary precautions? Does he not bear the primary responsibility for his actions? To ensure his baby girl has a Father committed to her well being, her Mother a stable partner in that effort? How can the RBPF possibly chase down and ‘save’ every fool choosing to break his bail conditions? We all know the police pick and choose, I waited with a friend on PI after she’d been confronted by an armed robber in her home. Nobody showed until the next day and only after we contacted her solicitor.

In the case of this young man it appears some time had passed after he was released before he was killed so one might conclude his continued criminality and not the murder accusation led to his death. So let’s stop the hypocrisy, bemoaning a society with a built in bias that nothing can/should/or will ever be done for children born into a class deemed irredeemable, while the upper echelons participate in the same criminality with impunity!

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K4C 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Will someone ask, why are so many on BAIL being killed, it's NOT by chance at all

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Sickened 4 months, 3 weeks ago

A person should think about potential retaliation before they do stupidness. To cry after doesn't make sense. And don't even think about asking the police for protection AFTER you get out on bail.

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