For the first time in St Lucia’s history a police officer’s fate was left in the hands of a jury of his peers.
PC669 Garvin Soudat was charged with manslaughter under Section 92 (1)(b) of the Criminal Code of St Lucia. On October 21, 2006 Soudat responded to information that a man was carrying an illegal firearm and contrabands on an omnibus en route from Vieux Fort to Castries.
Soudat, who was attached to the Micoud Police Station’s Criminal Investigations Department, alerted his supervisor and a team of officers proceeded to intercept the omnibus near the Micoud/Ti Rocher junction.
As the events unfolded, Soudat and other officers found themselves in what appeared to be harm’s way. Soudat fired one round from an M16 rifle which smashed the omnibus’ back windscreen, blowing a hole through one passengers mouth who was sitting to the rear of the vehicle and making its way to the front of the omnibus where 70-year-old Steven Flavius alias Morrison of Saltibus was sitting. The round lodged itsself in Flavius’ brain. Flavius was pronounced dead at the St Jude’s Hospital.
Soudat’s trial began on Monday February 28 and the jury delivered it’s majority verdict on Wednesday March 9.
See full details of the trial and the verdict in tomorrow’s STAR!