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bahamas

Saturday, July 2, 2022

bahamas

Man Killed in 24-Hour Blood Bath Was Acquitted of Killing Queen’s College Teacher

One of the country’s latest murder victims in a 24-hour blood bath is a man convicted and acquitted in the killing of Queen’s College Elementary teacher Joyelle McIntosh.

Twenty-eight-year-old Armando Sargeant was killed at the intersection of Beatrice Avenue and Charles W Saunders Highway early Tuesday morning and was seen lying in the middle of the street.

Police said he was one of three men involved in an argument at a traffic light on the highway. One of the men shot at Sargeant and a man, who fled.  Sargeant was struck by the gunfire, succumbed to his injuries, and was later discovered in the middle of the street.

Who was Armando Sargeant?

Joyelle McIntosh is the Queen’s College teacher killed in 2015.

Sargeant was one of three, accused of killing teacher McIntosh in 2015, as she and her son drove through Parkgate Road.

Near midnight on that fateful day, McIntosh tried to avoid hitting a person seen lying in the middle of the street.  Shortly afterward, she was shot in the neck and crashed her vehicle.  Her 13-year-old son escaped and ran for help as he was being shot at.

Sargent, Johnny Mackey, and a juvenile at the time of the murder, were charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and attempted armed robbery.

The juvenile was charged with actually shooting the teacher and he and Mackey were later convicted of all of the offenses, while Sargent was convicted of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and attempted armed robbery.

The men filed for an extension of time to appeal their applications and the Court of Appeal approved Sargent and Mackey’s applications for an extension of time, quashed their convictions, and did not order a retrial.

The Appeal Court approved the juvenile’s application for an extension of time, quashed his convictions and sentences, and ordered a retrial.

That meant Sargeant and Mackey were free men.

State of Play

Sargeant’s murder increased the country’s murder count to sixty-nine for the year.

Enough is Enough: Bahamians Demand Action After Killing of RBDF Officer

Bahamians took to social media to express outrage over the country’s latest murder involving a service member of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

Joevonte Miller, in his 20’s, was killed on Thursday night around 9 pm after arriving home on Pineyard Road. Police say three assailants shot and kill the young officer as he attempted to open the front door of his home.

Miller ran and succumbed to his injuries on the verge of the street.

Since then, Bahamians have expressed anger as gun violence continues to soar, and the country’s young men suffer the most in these targeted attacks.

Thomas Porter demanded, “New day government, please do something.”

Da La Paige Carey called for punishment by electric chairs. “If the government does not want to put hanging back on the book, buy a few electric chairs because it’s ridiculous.”

Marolyn Wells joined the chorus, advocating for the return of hanging, “What a sin. When will all these murders end? It seems as though the government is not concerned. Bring back hanging” she said.

Others like Melba Collins Morley asked for the government to seek the assistance of “extra trained police officers from other countries to sweep the island from all sides to take care of these murders.”

Some believe the government’s stance on crime is too soft, calling for stricter measures implemented by Cuba, which has become known for its hardened approach to crime.

“We have to have an approach on violent crime as they do in Cuba. We have to stop taking it lightly. It is serious. It takes away people’s freedom. It messes up families forever,” Diane Delisle said.

Bengena Lafleur said she heard the barrage of 18 to 20 bullets being fired, but immediately thought it to be fireworks.

Press Liaison Superintendent Audley Peters said the details are still unknown, adding that “At some point, we would know the cause of this incident.

“We are following significant leads. This investigation seems to be promising. All the details must come together and we have to get the information from other stakeholders to know what happened, who is responsible, what is the cause of this incident and bring it to some closure so that we can get the adjudication process started.”

Adrian Gibson Bribery Allegations: What We Know about the Charges

Long Island MP Adrian Gibson was among six people charged in the Magistrates Court on Monday. He faced multiple charges of bribery, which come as no surprise following weeks of questioning by the Central Detective Unit.

Adrian Gibson heading to court to face charges

The Free National Movement Member of Parliament was the former Chairman of the Water and Sewage Corporation under the Minnis-led administration. Gibson was a constant critic of Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Davis, who served as Minister of Works with responsibility for the water company under the Christie-led administration.

Though the FNM was ousted at the polls, Gibson managed to hold on to his seat in a constituency known for its support for the party. After the Progressive Liberal Party was elected, questions arose about Gibson’s conduct and affairs at the corporation.

An audit of the corporations revealed that questionable contracts were issued and Ministry of Works Minister Alfred Sears revealed that the matter was turned over to the police.

What are the charges against Gibson?

Adrian Gibson faces 56 charges. These include:

  • One count of false declaration which allegedly occurred on August 23, 2021
  • Conspiracy to commit bribery which allegedly occurred between June 23, 2020 and July 7, 2021
  • Dishonestly receiving more than $1.2 million for a landscaping contract issued to Elite Maintenance
  • Multiple counts of money laundering with a cousin and his campaign manager.
    • 5 counts of conspiracy to commit bribery
    • 6 counts of money laundering with cousin Rashae Gibson
    • 16 counts of money laundering with Campaign Manager Joan Knowles, among others.

Bail was granted at $150,000. He and the others will return to court on September 14 for the Service of a Voluntary Bill of Indictment.

What the FNM says after the charges

Leader of the Free National Movement Michael Pintard says his party stands with Gibson who remains in “good standing” with the party and is “an active and important member of our parliamentary caucus.”

Pintard says Gibson is innocent until he is proven guilty and the party will ensure his rights are not abused. “We remain resolute in our position that at the end of this process, justice and truth shall prevail.”

Parents Grieve 13-Year-Old Killed After Gambling Game

A father is grieving the loss of his 13-year-old son killed after a gambling game took a fateful turn in the Kemp Road community on Friday evening.

“Rest in peace, ‘Q’. Daddy loves you,” Quincy McKenzie wrote to social media.

The father shared memories of Quinton. He described the L.W Young student as a sport and video game enthusiast who also loved rap music.

Quinton’s mother, Kissie Brown-Pratt told Eye Witness News that she remained troubled about how the teenager died.

“A small thirteen-year-old boy… to take two shots–one behind his neck and one in his jaw. That’s really hurtful for a mother to stand here.”

Reports are that Quinton is the grandson of Leroy ‘Smokey 007.’

What happened?

Reports are that after a gambling game through Williams Lane,  someone lost money during the game, returning later to shoot into the crowd. Quinton was shot twice on Friday night.

A juvenile was arrested and is being questioned for the murder.

 

What to Know of the Deaths of Three Americans at Sandals Resort Exuma

The deaths of three Americans at a Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Exuma were mystifying until the autopsy report revealed they died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The deaths, which are unusual for the Bahamas, were reported on international news stations while speculations swirled that it could negatively impact the Bahamas’ tourism product.

The Americans have been identified as husband and wife–68-year-old Michael Phillips and 65-year-old Robbie Phillips of Tennesee; and 64-year-old Vincent Paul Charello of Florida.

What have the investigations revealed?

The first test sent to a lab in Philadelphia revealed that carbon monoxide killed the three American tourists and was received by authorities on Sunday.

The family hired a private pathologist to investigate the deaths.

What happened?

The unfortunate incident affected four guests in villas next to each other, killing only three. The survivor, 65-year-old Donnis Chiarella was paralyzed in a Florida hospital.

The day before, the guests sought treatment from a medical doctor on the island after experiencing nausea and convulsions. They returned to the villas and investigators believe their deaths occurred between 11 pm Thursday and 8 am on Friday.

Michael Phillips and Robbie Phillips who were celebrating their wedding anniversary were found deceased in the bedroom and bathroom of their villa. They were travel agents specializing in Caribbean honeymoons and romantic getaways.

Michael and Robbie Phillips were both found dead in their villa at Sandals Bahamian Resort in Exuma.

Vincent Paul Charello was discovered dead on the floor of the villa. Donnis Charello was paralyzed with swollen arms and legs and was discovered screaming for help before she was flown to Florida for medical assistance.

Reports surfaced that some guests at the resort complained of a strange odor from an insecticide sprayed in the area, the day before the reported deaths.

Who is responsible for the deaths?

Sandals will be responsible for the deaths of the three American visitors. A source of the carbon monoxide leak has not been released or investigated as yet, but pools and spas are common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning since damaged exhaust systems from heaters are responsible for numerous fatalities or injuries every year.

US Pastor Defiant in Midst of Controversy After Church Invitation From Bubble Bath

US Pastor O’Meal Reid of Kingdom Prophetic Church in Kissimee, Florida is hitting back following backlash he received for an invitation he extended to the public from a bath tub.

Reid visited the Bahamas last week to preach at Evangelistic Center Assemblies of God on Blue Hill Road, and in a video, he extended an invitation to social media users while in a bubble bath from his stay at the Atlantis Resort.

Apostle O’Meal Reid in a video, is seen in a bubble bath at Atlantis, extending an invitation to one of his services

Some people called the video “distasteful” and “fleshly.” Joining the chorus was Pastor Patrice Smith and the pastor of Evangelistic Center Assemblies of God Reverend Neil Hamilton who prompted Reid to apologize for the “offensive” and “inappropriate” video.

But Reid, in a viral post on Thursday, said he does not regret posting the video to promote the nightly services.

“My body was under the water… bubble bath submerge. You can’t see [anything]… The only thing you could see is my face and my neck. There is no nudity. What is wrong with the video? What is revealing about the video?” he asked.

Reid said his wife gave approval before he posted it to Facebook.

“The church is too religious. Stop being religious,” he said.

Reid adamantly said he will not apologize.

“Wait for the apology. You will never get an apology from me because there is nothing to apologize about.”

Hamilton has distanced his church from the controversy saying another pastor under a Prophet Machale Taylor Ministry used the church’s edifice to host the services for Reid.

 

 

Prince William and Kate Cost Bahamas Over $600,000 for 3 Day Visit

The royal visit to the Bahamas by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spurred controversy by some members of the public who debated the exorbitant price tag it will place on the tax payer’s purse.

Nearly two months after the March visit, the government released a preliminary financial expenditure statement on the visit. The Nassau Guardian revealed that the Bahamas government spent $636,194 on Prince William and wife Catherine Middleton during their visit to the Bahamas in March.

“The payments were managed by the Office of the Governor-General in consultation with the Secretariat,” the statement says.

It included:

  • $566,828.93 was paid to New Providence businesses and vendors
    • $34,657.30 on accommodations at Atlantis
    • $76,141.96 with Wild Flowers for decor for the royal ball, a school and One Montague
    • $66,440.50 with Movi Company for large jumbo screens and digital and electronic work at a school, the royal ball and regatta, among other expenses.
  • $50,063.92 was paid to Abaco vendors
  • $18,107.15 was paid to Grand Bahama vendors.

The government believed it saved $100,000 with “the assistance of corporate Bahamas [in] assisting with the Royal Black-Tie Ball,” the report says, while boasting of the media attention the country received during the visit.

“It is difficult to quantify the tremendous benefits of the royal visit to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” it states.

“Over 40 international media houses from the UK and international graced our shores and recorded the wonders of The Bahamas, its beauty, charm and warmth of our people.”

Prince William and Kate spent eight days visiting three Caribbean countries to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the British Throne–Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

The Bahamas was their last stop when they left New Providence and flew to Abaco and Grand Bahama.

CSJ Report revealed that the government purchased forty new cars for the visit and rented out five floors of Atlantis for the couple and its entourage.

The Bahamas Votes to Suspend Russia From Human Rights Council After Putin’s Warning

The Bahamas and 92 other countries voted to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council following its “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine.

Twenty-four other countries voted ‘no’ while 58 countries abstained from voting.

Why  it matters

Russia warned that any country voting yes or abstaining will be viewed as an “unfriendly gesture” and will suffer consequences for bilateral ties.

The big picture

The United States moved a motion to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council, saying it was hypocritical for the Putin-led country to be on the council.

Some countries like Brazil, India and Mexico which abstained from voting called for further investigation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, before its removal.

The UNGA needed only a two-thirds majority to suspend Russia. It is the second country to be removed from the council following Libya’s suspension in 2011 due to atrocities on protesters by Muammar Ghadafi-led forces.

 

 

 

Royal Couple Caught in Torrential Rain on Bahamas Tour as Protesters Demand Slavery Reparations

A heavy downpour was not the only occurrence to dampen Prince William and Kate’s Bahamas tour as they honor Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the British throne.

Rastafarians assembled near the Sybil Strachan School where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to appear, protesting their visit and demanding reparations for the enslavement of African people.

Priest Marcus of the House of Rastafari in the Bahamas said, “The Bahamas is still under colonial rule and the Westminster system but we, as Rastas, don’t serve the system or the Queen. We can never forget slavery or the atrocities done to my people from the royal family,”

“We’re looking forward to an official apology and reparations—many Bahamians feel the same way. 400 years of slavery can’t be forgotten easily just like that; the damage has to be repaired.”

They were joined by a group representing abused women who sought to bring attention to their plight.

Both groups huddled together holding placards while singing songs.

As William and Kate appeared, the couple was met with torrents of rain using umbrellas to shield themselves from the downpour.

 

They were later escorted to Parliament Square to greet COVID-19 frontline workers. Though the rain held up for a brief period, it came down heavily as they greeted fans Down Town where a Junkanoo celebration was held.