May 24 is the new date set for the management of the Murder and Manslaughter case brought against four police officers for the December 26, 2011 death of 49-year-old Oscar Bartholomew, a Grenadian who became a naturalised citizen of Canada.
The Case Management proceedings ahead of the trial, was scheduled for last week Friday, before Madam Justice Vivian Georgis Taylor-Alexander at the No. 5 High Court in St. George’s but it did not proceed due to the absence of legal counsel for two of the accused persons.
While, Attorneys Dr. Francis Alexis QC and Anselm Clouden, continue to represent retired Police Constable 649 Edward Gibson and Police Constable 237 Rudy Felix, Attorney Nigel Stewart, who represented 36-year-old Rural Constable Wendell Sylvester, has not made an appearance since the matter was committed to the High Court, and Attorney Peter David, who previously represented 41-year-old PC 675 Shaun Garness, cannot continue due to his recent Ministerial appointment.
The policemen, whose bail was renewed in the sum of $20, 000 after their arraignment on April 10, have pleaded not guilty to both charges laid against them.
The officers were initially charged with Manslaughter, approximately five years after the death of the 39-year-old Bartholomew following the November 2017 conclusion of the Coroner’s Inquest into his death following a fracca at the St. David’s police station in the rural community of Petite Esperance.
The charge of murder was eventually added by the Director of Public Prosecution, Christopher Nelson after a complete review of the Coroner’s results.
A fifth officer, Police Constable 748 Kenton Hazzard, was found to not have been involved in the death of Bartholomew, who died after the officers allegedly beat him into a coma at the St. David’s Police Station.
At the time of his death the Grenadian-born naturalised Canadian citizen was visiting the island with his Canadian wife.
Bartholomew met his unfortunate demise on Boxing Day, 2011 after allegedly bear-hugging a plain clothes, female police officer, who he mistook for a long time friend, while waiting for his wife, who went to use the bathroom facility inside the police station.
In January 2016, approximately five years after losing her son in controversial circumstances, Bartholomew’s mother, 76-year-old Andrianna Bartholomew of La Tante, St. David was found hanging from a cocoa tree at the back of her house.
Residents in the area said the mother took her own life out of frustration with the justice system since it was taking too long for anyone to be committed to stand trial for her son’s death.