Will 2012 solved homicides result in convictions?

The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force is reporting a relatively calm festive season during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays here. Save for a few robberies across the island, a couple of car thefts and one incident of suicide in the south of the island on December 26, the island was able to stave off 2010 and 2011 record high homicide rates of 48 and 52, respectively. The only other major incident which the police are reporting over the holidays is a stabbing of a young man in Rodney Bay on December 31, 2012 as thousands converged in the entertainment hot-spot to ring in the New Year. The victim is said to be in a stable condition at hospital while one individual has since been arrested in connection with the incident.
Police commissioner Vernon Francois in his year end message for 2012 thanked the Government of Saint Lucia, other government agencies and the general citizenry for their level of support and continued faith in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. “Our success this year has shown what the police and the public can achieve if we work together. Your willingness to cooperate with the police department has contributed immensely to our fight against crime. It is, therefore, my commitment to reward your goodwill by my unwavering efforts to work towards a more professional Police Department,” Francois said.
The police chief who was appointed in 2012 after acting in that capacity since 2010 went on to thank his fellow Police Officers for what he described as their hard work in 2012. “Notwithstanding the arduous nature of your duties, you have shown by your efforts that the mission of the organization can be realized. I thank you for your support, whether you are a Gazetted Officer, Inspector, Regular Police Officer, Special Police Constable or Special Reserve Officer,” PC Vernon Francois stated. “Thanks to your support and that of the Government and the general public, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force has been able to realize a number of initiatives in 2012. We were able to further the philosophy of community oriented policing by conducting a Train the Trainers Program for selected officers. The intention is for these Officers to train one hundred percent of our Officers in the area of Community Partnership and Service Driven Policing,” he added.
Vernon Francois then went on to highlight new initiatives during the observance of Police Week and efforts at rewarding police officers and promotions in 2012. That year forty four officers were promoted to the rank of Corporal; twenty six to the rank of Sergeant and ten to the rank of Inspector. “Through the support of the Ministry of Public Service and the Public Service Commission, we were also able to confirm the post all of our outstanding acting appointments at the Gazetted Officer level of the Force,” Francois noted.
With the island facing 44 homicides in 2012 and a high level of violent crime the police chief had this to say on the matter; “As an organization, we remain resolute in our battle against all forms of criminal activity in St. Lucia. In this area, the Police Department has increased its focus on intelligence driven policing and improving our relationships with the
Saint Lucian public. We also focused on preventative policing by increasing our physical presence and operations in crime prone areas.”
“Our efforts in the area of drug reduction resulted in the seizure of 1032.08 kilograms of cannabis with a street value of EC$1, 362, 345.60 and 233.258 kilograms of cocaine worth a street value of EC$5, 131, 676.00,” Francois went on to reveal.                 “We propose to continue our intelligence driven policing and community partnership efforts in the New Year. It is our expectations that our crime fighting efforts particularly as it relates to property crimes will be augmented by the recently commissioned automated fingerprint information system,” he went on.
The RSLPF has since released figures relating to the 44 homicides in 2012 stating that 68 percent of homicides committed had been “solved.”         According to reports emanating the RSLPF public relations department of the remaining 32 percent of homicides (14 cases) are under investigation, while 23 of the solved murders are in the sufficiency hearing stage.
Of the 44 homicides reported in 2012, four were police shootings and two were security shootings. Police said all the police and security shootings are pending  inquest.
Police are also reporting that of the 44 homicides, 24 were firearm-related while the other 20 comprised knife, cutlass and assault incidents
The question now which should be asked is whether the police “solved” cases will result in convictions at the courts, how many will be botched for lack of proper forensics or whether the island will continue to be faced with a back-log of cases with a number of prisoners being on remand for more than five years. The situation has now created a level of overcrowding and some discomfort at the Bordelais Correctional facility which is yet to be addressed.
The 30 homicides which were considered solved include:
•    The fatal shooting of Kyle Innocent, 22, of Grass Street
•The fatal shooting of Kendy John Charles, 29, of Ciceron
•Peter Raymond of Ravine Poisson who was stabbed to death on February 3, 2012
•The shooting death of Nicholas Gregg of Bois Cachet
•Baby Jane Doe (mother Antonia Anthony) which occurred on March 3, 2012
•Terrel Reynolds aka Slowmo, 24, of Faux A Chaud
• 17-year-old Criselda Fanis and her 1-year-old daughter Takisha Fanis at Bois Patat
•71-year-old Llewellyn Gorden Alexander of Dennery who was beaten to death
•27-year-old Melius Jn Marie aka Cosh of Aupicon, Vieux Fort
•43-year-old Edison Frederick of La Ressource, Vieux Fort
•Sherwin Poleon, a student of the Anse Ger Secondary who was struck with a piece of iron to the back of his head
•The death of Levi Wilson, 27, of Mon Repos who was shot on Carnival Tuesday at the Corner of Choiseul and St. Louis Street
•17-year-old Christal St. Omer of Monchy, Gros Islet whose body was found in a vegetative area at Cap Estate
•Special Police Constable Lucan Lesmond who was fatally shot on September 2, 2012
•43-year-old Thaemoo Eugene of Forestierre whose body was found in a vegetative area at Forestierre
•Judah St. Omer, 25, of Corinth
•The death of Francis Mathurin aka Miscard of Petit Bough, Anse La Raye
•Canadian National Colin Peter
•Marcus Maximin of Banse, La Grace
•Critchlan James alias Suram, 28, of Hospital rd.

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