The Tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique recorded its first homicide for year on Monday, with the early morning death of former police officer, Curtis Calliste, from Rose Hill in St. Patrick, who was described as being a mentally unstable individual.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Calliste was found lying motionless on the floor inside his place of residence with multiple stab wounds inflicted on his body.
According to a release from the Community Relations Department (CRD), of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), a 31-year-old, whose name was withheld and is also known to be mentally challenged, is currently assisting with their investigations.
Unconfirmed reports are that the murder suspect, who is also from Rose Hill, allegedly fled the scene of the crime but was detained hours later during a police search of a nearby area.
The grieving aunt of the deceased said that at around 5 o’ clock on the fateful morning, she heard loud commotion coming from inside the nearby house, where her nephew lived and decided to call the police.
This, she said was done because the nephew is known to be “a mental case and we usually have to call the police to come and give him treatment.”
According to the woman, when the police did not respond as quickly as anticipated “another friend went there and he (came back saying), that he see someone lying on the floor”.
“So, when I heard that I alerted the police that I had called earlier…and now I understand that someone is on the floor; so I would like (for) them to come and assess the situation. When they came they said Curtis Calliste is dead. He was stabbed”, she said.
The aunt indicated that both the suspect and the deceased were close friends and used to pick cocoa and cook food together.
“…I don’t know what went wrong,” she quipped.
The aunt also expressed concern that not enough is being done in Grenada to provide proper services to mentally challenged persons.
“We always call and complain, telling them that sometimes the medication is not even working and they would never come and take him to get the medication unless we call when he starts acting up,” she said.
Up until press time on Wednesday, THE NEW TODAY was unable to confirm whether a charge has been laid against the murder suspect.
During the opening ceremony of the January Criminal Assizes on Tuesday, Guyanese-born High Court Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford, emphasised the need for a proper facility to house mentally challenged persons who commit offences, other than at the Richmond Hill Prison.
Speaking with THE NEW TODAY following Tuesday’s opening ceremony; Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Brandon La Touche, reiterated that there “should be a facility for the criminally insane…geared towards (providing) healing and treatment (for) those persons who are deemed to be unfit.”
However, he said, with the non-existence of such a facility and the requisite professionals to deal with such persons, “the unfortunate option is at Her Majesty’s Prison”.
This newspaper understands that there are several persons deemed to be mentally ill who are either on remand or serving sentences at the prison for crimes they allegedly committed.
One such case involves Gabriel Alleyne, the 27-year-old son of a prominent religious figure on the island, who was recently committed to stand trial for Non-Capital Murder in connection with the June 24, 2017 death of 49-year-old Anthony Alexander, who was also a patient at the Mt. Gay Psychiatric Hospital.