Suspect gunman walks free as witnesses clam-up

| 06/10/2015 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): A 34-year-old man from George Town walked free from court on Monday after the crown’s case against him, in connection with a shooting in McField Square earlier this year, collapsed. The court heard that the two witnesses on which the case rested refused to give evidence against Randy Parchment, who was accused of being one of two gunmen men who opened fire at an after-hours session in the popular late night spot and hit three women.

The crown advised the court that the prosecution evidence had been provided primarily by two witnesses. However, crown counsel, Nicole Petite, said that just before the trial was due to start this week, there were “difficulties in relation to these witnesses” that were “beyond the control” of the director of public prosecutions, and despite efforts to get the witnesses to testify, they refused and so the crown had no evidence against the defendant.

Justice Charles Quin dismissed the charges against Parchment after establishing that there was nothing the crown could do after they had made repeated requests to the witnesses, who now refuse to cooperate.  Parchment, who was represented by Nick Dixey from Nelsons, had been on remand since his arrest six months ago. He was found not guilty and released, having been arrested shortly after the shooting in the early hours of 28 March.

Two other suspects  who were arrested at the same time in connection with the incident were released on police bail and no charges were ever brought against those men. But Parchment was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and malicious unlawful wounding. He pleaded not guilty in April and remained on remand till Monday.

On the night of the shooting, police said that two masked gun men fired shots into a crowd of people in the square in the central area of George Town. Three women were wounded during the shooting, which police believe was gang-related, and the shooters were aiming at another man who escaped injury. One of the woman was more seriously wounded as she was hit in the chest and abdomen, while the other two women received less serious injuries, one to her hand and one to her arm.

A few months later there was another shooting at a late night session in Sparky Drive, where one gunman again fired indiscriminately into a crowd shooting three people. One man was very seriously injured but no one has been charged in connection with that incident.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Give vacations away to jury. Sun, sand, sentencing. Get them from places other than here. Simple…

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a great idea. (But these are the witnesses that are clamming up)
      Still a fab idea.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder what happened to the victim of the official who was drunk and did a hit and run. Almost 2 years now and no trial yet for that official.
        I believe he is waiting for the victim to leave and he is still drinking and driving while using a gov’t car.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Analyzing the current trends of what’s happening in our courts and what’s going on in our communities, I predict that within the next 6 months; we unfortunately are going to experience an upsurge of serious gun crime in Grand Cayman. I’m specifically talking about what happened around 2008/9 with the gang style homicides that were happening over that infamous ten day period.

    There is a very interesting and comprehensive article recently in The Cayman Reporter by Ms. Tina Trumbach who outlined the majority of killings and unsolved murders in Grand Cayman. You should read this article if you have not done so as yet.

    It is absolutely astounding the amount of Murders, Attempt Murders involving illegal firearms that are unsolved in the Grand Cayman.

    These violent criminals have not taken an extended vacation to Orlando Fla to see Mickey Mouse and Snow White, but are still living amongst us and are gearing up for a “Massive Cayman Shottas Showdown”. Illegal guns are actively being imported from Jamaica, of which most are originating from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Other guns and drugs are coming from Honduras and Mexico.

    All of the expensive stolen boats from Grand Cayman are being traded for guns and drugs in Jamaica and others are being used for smuggling Cubans to Isla Mujeres Mexico. ($10,000 USD per head I’m told)

    I suggest you keep your eyes and ears open but most importantly…….. keep your heads down low.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Culturally, there has been a consistent history of shying away from any confrontation or dealing with anything remotely difficult. I am not surprised at the result to be honest.

    If you don’t do anything about it now, you are going to have to do something about it later, mark my words!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Trials by judge alone and witness protection, help lines and so on

    • Anonymous says:

      All of those measures already in place and legislated for, but explain how exactly you provide protection for witnesses on Islands as small as these? Do you envisage that the crime situation will be solved because eventually the entire population will be living abroad under assumed names? Or will that just remove the law-abiding citizens, or those who aspire to living in a law-abiding community, leaving behind the lawless?(I speak with tongue firmly in cheek).
      But seriously it is just not logistically possible to provide effective witness protection here. Some how, and I do not claim to have the answers, there has to be enough victim support and community support to stand up against the few “big men” causing the criminal activity. That might encourage people to testify in court, and then get them put away in maximum security conditions where they cannot run their “businesses” from a prison cell “office”. Destroy the Gang Culture, that is the way ahead…..

  5. Anonymous says:

    A few things are common place. The Police are not getting people convicted of serious crimes. They are costing the Country millions of dollars in Salary and equipment that is not producing results such as contracting the Security Centre for the Cctv and guard Services While this is the CI Government that does the Cctv it was at put in place at the crys of the Police. These Cameras deliver if they are working poor quality imigages. It has never to the publics knowledge been used to get a conviction in a major crime or enough of them to justify the cost. Year after year from maintaince contracts the Security Centre collects money for nothing that has been proven useful. Pretty much of late when the Police are proven to not deliver or something goes wrong it appears the Commissioner or the Security Centre is being mentioned. This is outragous. In order to recover millions in a budget There should be no headline or few that read what this one does. The Police have been given tools to use other the eye witness. They choose to use The money allowed for at best sub standard equipment and services that otherwise may have had a more positive outcome if the true nature was at heart.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace, Garfield Shirley.
    Miss you bro.

    (Always sad when the good are taken by the maggots of society.)

    Thoughts go out to Patrice and the rest of the family. You all raised a good man.

    – Whodatis

  7. Anonymous says:

    Were no GSR tests conducted? Despite the various urban myths it is actually very difficult to destroy gunshot residue evidence but I guess RCIPS are so far behind the rest of the world they don’t realise that. In fact I suspect from some of these cases that the security screeners at ORIA have better testing kit than RCIPS.

    • Anonymous says:

      They have budgeted to/have spend millions on useless cameras and thousands on guard’s provided by the Security Centre then simple but case but clear training and equipment that would solidify a case.

    • UK Driftwood says:

      Ha ha maybe you should have listened to your teacher got an education and studied forensic science,
      A shower burn your clothes and sorry even CSI won’t find the evidence.
      Typical uneducated comment, are you by any chance in government!!!!!!!

  8. sss says:

    Why make the witnesses look bad when they were told what to say .if the police handle matters more professional then the right criminals will be put away for our shooting.

    • JTB says:

      The witnesses have clearly been either frightened off or bought off. There’s nothing the police or prosecution can do without evidence.

  9. SSM345 says:

    I think George “The March Maker” Ebanks should look into organizing a demonstration for our completely useless DPP & Co. to be removed form office.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s an idiotic statement in the context of a case that collapsed entirely because two people have been intimidated into not testifying. Nothing to do with the DPP’s performance.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, he should organize a march to bring attention to the fact that no one has the courage to testify against these criminals. Man up people or Cayman will soon resemble every other lawless Caribbean island.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Soon” dun already come.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:50 pm. We allowed the creeps to infest the place long ago. They brought their bad habits with them and we allowed them to fester. Time to clean house and fix the cracks.

        • Anonymous says:

          “They brought their bad habits with them…” Was that from West Bay, North Side, Bodden Town or East End?

  10. Anonymous says:

    There are some really great Police officers in Cayman. Unfortunately the really bad ones are spoiling everyone’s reputation with their overwhelming stupidity.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are some really great CNS commenters in Cayman. Unfortunately the completely ignorant ones like this guy are spoiling everyone’s reputation with their overwhelming stupidity.

    • Anonymous says:

      In case you didn’t know, Derek Haines is no longer with the RCIPS so I am not quite sure which “great” officers you would be referring too, and don’t site the guy who used to stand at the zebra crossing in town…..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Intimidation….

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why are we blaming the police? The police have absolutely nothing to do with this. The DPP has nothing to do with this. If there is no one who is willing to testify as to what they know and what they see how else are people supposed to be convicted? People always jump on the police and the DPP but those who know who the wrong doers in the community are continue to keep silent on these issues. No one wants to be the person who sends these criminals to prison for fear of their own lives. Continue to point the fingers at those who can do nothing and see what happens.

    • Anonymous says:

      I beg to differ – if the community has no faith in the police, they are not going to involve themselves with such cases. How much trust can one have that police will be there ON TIME when crap goes down if someone comes after the witnesses or their families??? If the community would feel saver by seeing more police presence and seeing more proactive policing rather than the constant knee jerk reactions, perhaps more people would be willing to come forward..

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well, the gang members have guns. Who is going to protect the witnesses for the rest of their lives.?

  14. Anonymous says:

    They tried, witnesses don’t want to help, probably in fear of reprisals. I agree, too often are we hearing these stories.

  15. Anonymous says:

    they should had the fact instead for trying to make a case with out proof and this is their downfall always.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Another botched court case? NO SURPRISE. The RCIPS is sealing their legacy of incompetence with another foul up that could have been avoided.

    • Anonymous says:

      So the lack of courage of the witnesses is because the Police are incompetent? Really? Or is it because the society chooses to turn away rather than stand up and be counted. ” I am afraid of what they might do the me” needs to become “I am afraid of what they may do to others if I don’t stand up to them” but I can’t see that happening soon, sadly.

    • Anonymous says:

      If our own people refuse to be witnesses, what do you propose the police do? Plant evidence?

    • Anonymous says:

      What a pathetic statement. On such a small island where everyone knows each other please do come up with a solution of witnesses giving evidence.
      Would you drag them to court in handcuffs and threaten them with prison
      I await your ideas

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure why you are blaming the popo. Did you even read the article? It is the witnesses that ruined the case.

      • Cass says:

        Witnesses are key to an investigation where there is a lack of substantive evidence. What other commenters are trying to say is this: if the police did their job efficiently and thoroughly they would have collected vital evidence to convict these criminals and not have to RELY solely on eye witnesses who may or may not follow through to the end. Hence what has happened in this instance and many others before! Clearly we CANNOT rely on eye witnesses as they will 1) change their minds last minute 2) some may LIE 3) how credible are most of the witnesses called on. I.E putting a “crack head” on the stand will do no justice, no credibility.

        So, this is what all the fuss is about regarding police doing their jobs properly, the whole thing depends on their ability to safely collect evidence, store it safely and then present it when the time comes. How many cases have been thrown out or lost by the DPP because of evidence having been tampered with or evidence which has been contaminated?

        • Diogenes says:

          And how does any of that apply here? You expect them to find the gun or GSR when no one identifies the shooter until well after the event?

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is now happening on an epidemic scale.

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