Law enforcement officers have charged a 33-year-old man for the May 20 shooting to death of ex-police officer, Cainisaac Edwards, considered as a political heavyweight in Telescope, St. Andrew.
The arrest of Steven Croney, comes after approximately 2 weeks of intensive police investigations into the slaying of Edwards, who is known to be a close associate of Member of Parliament for St. Andrew South-east, Education Minister, Emmalin Pierre.
The victim was shot dead by a lone gunman dressed in a white overall suit, who then fled the scene on foot through some nearby bushes close to ‘Mega Shop’ in Telescope.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the 33-year-old Plumber was apprehended by police on Tuesday at his home at Telescope.
Scores of onlookers flocked the precincts of the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning to get a glimpse of the murder accused as he made his first appearance before Magistrate Nevlyn John, who read out the indictable charge to him.
Croney was represented by Attorney-at-Law Andre Thomas from Franco Chambers.
Senior Crown Counsel, Howard Pinnock, who is prosecuting the high-profile murder case, said that the firearm used to execute the crime is still at large.
Pinnock informed the court that he has a list of 22 witnesses to support the murder charge laid against the 33-year-old man.
Edwards who is referred to in some quarters as a “Community Leader” in Telescope has been on the police radar for some time now as a major player in the illegal drug business on the island.
Speaking with reporters outside the court, Pinnock commended officers attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), led by Inspector Ryan Hall, whom he said did a very good job to find Edwards’ alleged killer.
Some of the Edwards relatives were seen weeping outside the court as the man charged for his death was being escorted from the brief hearing to the waiting police vehicle surrounded by heavily armed police officers, who were clad in their uniforms and wore bullet proof vests.
“He killed a whole man and ‘allu’ protecting him,” some persons were heard shouting as the murder accused was being escorted away by policemen.
Others were heard saying Croney will “not make a week” up at the Richmond Hill Prison where Magistrate John ordered him to be kept on remand.
“They go kill him up dey…just now you hearing he dead up they”, a man was heard shouting.
The mother and some other relatives of the murder accused, who were present in court, appeared very emotional and with eyes full of tears during the course of the proceedings.
One relative of Croney fainted and fell to the ground as he emerged from the court room in handcuffs and surrounded by a party of police officers.
Minutes earlier, a worried looking Croney, clad in a blue, white and red checkered designer dress shirt and Khaki pants, was led into the court room where he soon engaged in a conversation with Attorney Thomas.
The defence lawyer declined an offer to speak with reporters who approached him as he exited the court room on conclusion of the first hearing.
The Preliminary Inquiry into the murder charge against Croney is expected to commence when the matter comes back up for hearing on June 25.
Well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY that Edwards was undoubtedly a key political figure in Telescope for the ruling New National Party (NNP) as he was seen as one able to deliver “blocks of voters”.
The executed man once served as a Police Prosecutor at the Magistrate level, until he was sacked from the police force amidst reports of many shady dealings.
A police insider told this newspaper that at the time of his death, the self-styled “Community Leader” had just came out of a birthday party with his girlfriend and was making his way to a vehicle when he was called out by another man whom he was very familiar with.
As Edwards was speaking with the individual, an assassin emerged from the shadows and shot him at close range before running off into the dark.
The first significant lead the police had about the killing related to reports that the “Telescope Don” had been engaged days earlier in a serious conflict with an individual in the village over a sex related matter.
When he was gunned down, Edwards is said to have had a number of pending court matters brought against him by the police in the Grenville Magistrate’s Court.