Two nationals from St Vincent and the Grenadines were charged in connection to harbouring the fugitive, Nyron Erickson.
Charged with ‘perverting the course of justice’ is St Elmore Garraway, a 42-year-old contractor. The second accused is 37-year-old Deverson Williams and he is charged with ‘obstruction of a police officer’.
When the men appeared before Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin on Wednesday, Garraway was not required to plead because the matter is indicatable, meaning it is triable before a judge and jury at the high court.
However, Williams pleaded not guilty to his charge.
The court heard that on July 12, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) executed a search warrant on Garraway’s home located in Georges Northside on Tortola.
While approaching the residence, Williams was seen in the yard having a conversation on his cellphone.
The officers immediately shouted ‘armed, police! Don’t move!’ However, Williams allegedly disobeyed and ran inside the dwelling home, closing the door and locking it behind him.
The court heard that the officers said they then heard someone inside shouting, ‘police! police!’ and observed persons running from the kitchen area of the home when they peeped through the glass portion of the front door.
One of the individuals observed running to the back porch was Nyron Erickson, who has been a wanted man for months.
The officers continued shouting, ‘armed police! Open the door!’, the court further heard.
One officer ran to the back of the house, while another made a forced entry into the premises.
Both men were found on the inside of the house, while another man, Trevon Cumberbatch, was found hiding behind a wall on the outside. Erickson was not found. He and others unknown had fled into nearby bushes, the court heard.
At the conclusion of the operation, Williams was cautioned and informed that he would be charged and arrested for obstructing police, to which he replied: ‘I did not know who you were. I thought it was somebody coming to rob me, so I closed the door and went inside”.
In the meantime, Garraway was cautioned and arrested on suspicion of harbouring a fugitive to which he replied: “I do not know any Nyron you talking about, Officer.”
He said he was having a party for his workmen.
The court further heard that footage from Closed Circuit Television more commonly referred to as CCTV was retrieved from the surveillance system located in Garraway’s bedroom.
The footage showed Erickson, Williams, and a few other men entering Garraway’s home at about 4 pm on the day in question, the court heard.
They were subsequently charged.
Back in court, Williams was granted $20,000 signed bail, while Garraway was granted $60,000 signed bail.
As part of their bail conditions, the men are forbidden from having any contact with Erickson whether directly or indirectly. They must also surrender their travel documents.
Williams must report to the Road Town Police Station on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 6 am to 6 pm. Garraway must also report to the said station on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 6 am to 6 pm.
Defence attorney Stephen Daniels represents both men.
The matter was adjourned to September 30.
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