Three sureties must pay $15,000


Tribune Staff Reporter


Three sureties must pay $15,000 after a defendant absconded months before his trial for kidnapping and armed robbery was set to begin.

Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson ruled on Friday that Margaret Bethel, Larry Demeritte and Raynell Wiley must pay the funds after they failed to locate Shaquille Demeritte, 29, who went missing in October.

Ms Bethel and Mr Demeritte, the defendant’s parents, along with Ms Wiley, signed a $15,000 bail form for the defendant after he allegedly kidnapped Michael Lightbourne and stole his Ford F-150 truck along with other belongings on January 4, 2023.

Shaquille Demeritte faced a prior bail breach for these charges in August of last year.

He was required to report to police regularly but his mother indicated that he stopped signing in sometime last October.

Ms Bethel further told that while she reported her son missing to the commissioner, she claimed that she only went there after it was claimed police put a hit on her son.

In issuing her judgment, Justice Grant-Thompson stated that all three sureties failed to contact the defendant's attorney, children or associates to ascertain his location.

She stated that they demonstrated “a casual disregard for their duties as sureties” as they failed to ensure that the defendant appeared for his court dates as stipulated in the bail they signed.

Although Ms Bethel offered to pay the full $15,000 bond, Justice Grant-Thompson said she could not allow this in good conscience as all three signed the bond making them all liable to pay it.

She ordered that each pay $5,000 to the public treasury on April 29. However, she informed them that one person could still write a cheque for the full amount.

All three sureties are to return to court on April 30 and were urged to bring Shaquille Demeritte in to authorities.

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