Preliminary hearing on James Norales murder postponed again

Orel Leslie, Tyrone Meighan and Brandon Baptist are on remand charged with the November 2012 murder of James Norales, a BDF officer alleged to be involved in gang activity. On Monday their preliminary inquiry was set to take place but it was postponed yet again. Attorney for Mr Meighan, Arthur Saldivar, explains what took place.

Arthur Saldivar – Attorney:

vlcsnap-2013-09-03-13h23m05s216My particular issue is in relation to the charges brought against Tyrone Meighan,  From the disclosure that has been presented, there are not sufficient grounds, in my estimation, to justify his being remanded on the charges which were brought by the DPP.  What happened was that a week or so ago, an adjournment date was given for today, for the PI to be held.  When we arrived at court this morning, the Prosecutor was not ready to proceed.  As a result of that, the magistrate gave the prosecution additional time this morning, to get itself prepared. After that time had elapsed, the prosecution was still unprepared to proceed.   

Because they were unprepared one of the young men lashed out. Arthur Saldivar tells us more.

Arthur Saldivar – Attorney:

It’s quite unusual because we already have disclosure.  We don’t expect that they have any more evidence to offer that what’s already there.  In fact the latest amount of information came last week, some two or three weeks after the original partial disclosure had been given.  It appears that the system is being used right now for a function that it should not have, in that when a person is on remand, remand is to ensure presence in court for the trial to proceed, but remand should never be used as a tool for punishment.    I’m afraid that’s what it appears to be right now.  Today the Police had additional elements here at the Court, anticipating that what was produced in the disclosure would not be sufficient, and that the matter would have been thrown out.  As a result of that, they would have been in a position to re-arrest immediately those persons accused.  Since they were not inside the Courtroom, they did not know that the matter had been further adjourned. As a result, when the accused persons emerged from the Courtroom, they pounced on them, believing that they were about to leave the precincts of the Court, not realizing that they were still in custody, which led to an unfortunate physical altercation, as a result of that confusion, brought about by the prosecution itself.

Mr Saldivar says the delays are not necessary.

Arthur Saldivar – Attorney:

I cannot speak for the Police Department, nor can I speak for the DPP.  All I can say is that from the information thus far disclosed, and it’s not anticipated that there would be any new evidence to warrant a change in my belief, that there is not sufficient grounds to form a prima face case against any of the accused persons, and certainly not against Tyrone Meighan.  It’s an effort in futility, in my estimation, and a waste of the Court’s time and processes.  

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