Nineteen-year-old, Deschon ‘Dede’ Hodge has been hauled before the Magistrate’s Court for the Huntums Ghut shooting incident which left a 16-year-old man nursing injuries at the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital this month.
He was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and unlawful and malicious wounding.
Hodge was not required to plead when he made his first appearance before Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin on Monday.
The court heard that on December 10, the accused along with friends were at the Elmore Stoutt High School attending a function at about 8 am. During that same time, the complainant (the reported gunshot victim) was in Huntums Ghut spraying his motor scooter in a garage.
One of the friends of the accused teen reportedly got into a fight with some other young men, which resulted in the friend losing his hand chain.
It is alleged that after the fight, Hodge and one of his friends headed to the garage and aggressively confronted the complainant who is believed to be acquaintances with the men who attacked Hodge’s friend earlier that day.
Hodge allegedly pulled a firearm and threatened the complainant.
At roughly 5 pm that same day, the complainant and his friends were travelling in the vicinity of a well-known bar in Huntums Ghut. The complainant was riding a scooter with another young man, while his two other friends were riding in a Jeep when they were attacked.
The accused gunman allegedly discharged his handgun causing one bullet to connect with the passenger side of the jeep, another connected with the scooter and another on the complainant’s leg.
The men sped off towards Road Town, while the accused gunman ran in the direction of the Huntums Ghut basketball court and departed on a scooter towards Lower Estate.
After inspecting the complainant’s wound, his friends took him to the hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his right thigh.
The court heard that the Royal Virgin Police Force were made aware of the incident and launched an investigation into the matter.
They retrieved three spent shell casings at the crime scene and obtained closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from the area of the incident.
The RVIPF also obtained a witness statement from the complainant at the hospital, and two days later, the accused turned himself into the Road Town Police Station. He was arrested on suspicion of the offences before the court.
A search warrant was also executed on Hodge’s residence where they retrieved and a short-sleeve white shirt and a long black jeans pants that were similar to eyewitness’s description of what the gunman was wearing at the time of the shooting.
It wasn’t me
The court heard that during an audiovisual interview with police, the accused man admitted to the incident that preceded the shooting. However, he said while he was in the area that the shooting took place and that he was not the shooter.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Magistrate Benjamin denied the accused man bail.
The court said it denied bail because the accused, despite being a youthful offender, had previous run-ins with the law and he was in breach of a bail condition for another matter.
The possibility of potential interference such as ‘retaliation’ and the fact that the firearm was still at large was another reason behind the denial.
His matter was adjourned to January 16.
Attorney at law Stacy Abel represented Hodge.
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