St. John man slapped with Attempted Non-Capital Murder Charge

A 23-year-old Shopkeeper from River Lane, Gouyave, St. John, is facing two indictable gun-related charges and another indictable charge of ‘Attempted Non-Capital Murder,’ in connection to a shooting incident on April 21, which left one man without a kidney.

Jonathan Richards – charged with attempted non-capital murder

THE NEW TODAY understands that the victim, Edwin Cheddick, went into the shop of Jonathan Richards to allegedly purchase a marijuana joint and on his way out of the shop accidentally bumped into another man who was engaged in gambling.

The individual who was bumped into went into the shop and returned with the shopkeeper who was armed with a gun.

According to reports, the man who was injured started to back away from the shop and as he turned to run away several shots were fired at him.

Approximately 6 shots were fired, with only one hitting Cheddick in his lower back, passing straight through him.

A well placed source said the injured man who was recently discharged from the St. George’s General Hospital after several days of treatment, lost one of his kidneys as a result of the incident.

Three days after the near fatal incident on April 24, the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) issued a Wanted Man bulletin for Richards for questioning for the offense of Dangerous Harm.

However, last week Thursday, approximately 16 days after the Wanted Man bulletin was issued, Richards turned himself in to the Gouyave Police Station, where he was subsequently slapped with charges of Attempted Non-Capital Murder, and for being in ‘Possession of a Fire Arm and Possession of 6 rounds of Ammunition, without user’s licenses.

Clad in a purple long sleeve shirt and black long pants, the 23-year-old suspect, appeared Monday before Chief Magistrate, Her Honour Tamara Gill at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court, represented by Attorney-at-law, Andre Thomas of the law firm of Franco Chambers & Co.

The lawyer requested bail for his client but the Police Prosecution team strongly objected based on the seriousness of the offences, and the fact pointing that a Wanted Man bulletin had to be issued through the media to locate Richards, who was allegedly attempting to evade police investigators.

Additionally, the court was told that the firearm in question is still at large and that the suspect has 19 previous convictions including Robbery with Violence and Grievous Harm dating back to March and June 2013, as well as a conviction for Possession of Firearm, which dates back to March 2017.

The Police Prosecution informed the court that the suspect has at least 4 other matters pending before the Victoria and Gouyave Magistrate’s Courts, for which, bench warrants had to be issued for his arrest.

Attorney Thomas denied the allegation and contended that his client has no other matters pending before any court.

According to the lawyer, while his client had a long list of convictions, the majority of them were for trivial offences for which Richards has already suffered the consequences.

He also acknowledged the seriousness of the past and present alleged offences while noting that the well known adage about “presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”

In addition, Attorney Thomas pointed to the age of his client, saying that bail should not be used as a punishment but to ensure that accused persons appear in court.

In addressing his client’s alleged attempt to evade the law, the lawyer indicated that Richards was “not apprehended by police but voluntarily walked into the station,” after learning that he was a wanted man.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the suspect was accompanied by his mother when he turned himself into the Gouyave Police Station last week Thursday.

After hearing arguments put forward by both sides, the Chief Magistrate took a decision to deny bail at this stage and remanded the 23-year-old suspect to the Richmond Hill Prison.

Richards will make his second court appearance at the Gouyave Magistrate’s Court on June 1.

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