An East End resident has been named as a murder suspect in Monday’s fatal Brady Ghut shooting of Tyrone Thomas after police recovered a gun, a quantity of ammunition, and $2 million worth of cocaine near the crime scene and the near the suspect’s home.
That individual has been identified as 27-year-old Dee Dijion Hodge, and he is charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to another, unlawful possession of explosives, and possession of an unlicensed firearm. No murder charges are laid against him.
The court heard that Hodge and the deceased man were owners of a car rental company in the territory.
On October 22, the day of the shooting, Hodge was a passenger in the vehicle along with Thomas (the deceased), who was driving, and Thomas’ girlfriend.
According to allegations outlined by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Kim Hollis, when police came on the scene at roughly 4 am, Hodge was seen emerging from some nearby bushes covered in blood.
Lying dead inside the vehicle was Thomas, while the girlfriend laid next to him injured from gunshot wounds to her neck and head. She is currently in a serious condition at a local medical facility, the court heard.
It is alleged that Hodge was acting suspiciously on the morning in question so police asked to search his nearby home but Hodge refused them.
Armed with a search warrant, police returned hours later and executed a search of Hodge’s residence. They allegedly found a black .40 calibre pistol with seven rounds of ammunition and the cocaine valued at roughly $2 million. The items were allegedly found in bushes in close proximity to Hodge’s home.
The drugs, specifically, were found in a black duffle bag which had fresh blood on its base. That blood is believed to be that of the deceased and his girlfriend, the court heard.
Hodge allegedly told police that the items belonged to Thomas, but he took them anyway after the shooting started.
“I was frightened, I grabbed the bag as I knew he had his thing in there. I pushed the door and fell. The bag was on the back seat. I was in the back,” the accused man allegedly said.
He also allegedly admitted to police that he was a cocaine dealer.
According to the allegations, Hodge said he kept the gun and ammunition to defend himself.
And when asked if he ever handled the firearm, Hodge said that he did in the past and may have also touched the bullets.
Hodge was subsequently arrested and charged for the offences on October 22.
“It is clear, at this stage, says the Crown, that the shooting which took place that morning was connected to the possession of the valuable cargo of cocaine,” DPP Hollis told the court on Thursday.
The DPP subsequently objected to Hodge’s bail and outlined a number of reasons. She pointed to the nature and seriousness of the offence and the likelihood that if granted bail, Hodge may not show up for trial. He could also interfere with witnesses, or run away as he is a United States citizen and he has a girlfriend in Jamaica, the DPP argued.
On the other hand, Hodge’s attorney Patrick Thompson noted that his client is a BVI Belonger and has family ties to the territory. He said there could be strict bail conditions such as a curfew imposed on his client.
Thompson further noted that, in the past, the court has granted bail to persons who have matters of this nature.
The attorney argued that his client has no previous convictions and at no time during the DPP’s presentation of allegations did she indicate that his client was a suspect in the ongoing murder investigation.
It was then that Hollis told the court that Hodge was indeed a ‘suspect’ in relation to the fatal shooting incident.
“We are still at an early stage and we had no options but to charge the defendant with those matters that are presently before the court. He is therefore still under investigation in this (murder) matter,” the DPP said.
Magistrate Shawn Innocent denied bail early Friday morning.
He was not required to plead during his court appearance on Thursday.
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