SKN Closes 2014 With 24 Homicides by LK Hewlett
Murder detection rate at 14% St. Kitts-Nevis for the second year straight has recorded 21 murders. The 2014 homicide count stands at 24- 21 murders and 3 cases of manslaughter, compared to 21 murders in 2013 with two additional homicides. Nevis accounted for 5 of the murders, dropping 50% from last year’s record high of 10. St. Kitts’ toll has increased by 54.5%. The federation recorded only 4 murders in the first 6 months of 2014. Valentine “Wally” Gaskin, 30, of Cayon was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Upper Cayon on January 9. No one was charged. Carlyle Winford Hobson of Webb’s Ground, Gingerland, was discovered February 21 near the Nevis Island Government Quarry in a location known as ‘Valley’. Suspects released without charge. Glenford Pilly Gumbs Jr. and his wife had just pulled up at their Half Moon home around 9pm March 27 when a lone gunman ambushed the couple, shooting Gumbs Jr several times about his body. Suspects released without charge. Clive “Ouncash” Walters, originally of Stoney Grove, was shot near his Bath village home the morning of May 8, he died upon arrival at the Alexandra Hospital. Two suspects released without charge. The gun violence took an unprecedented catapult on July 12 when three persons were gunned down in a single shooting at Vibes Bar on the Frigate Bay Strip. Cecil Charles of Stapleton Housing, Glendale Hendrickson and Tavis Francis both of Old Road were killed and four others were seriously injured. Suspect released without charge. August passed without incident, however tragedy struck a Nevisian family when on September 6 the body of 15-year-old Shante Claxton was found in the bathroom of the St. Thomas’ Primary School. Autopsy ruled death was due to strangulation and Reese Walters, 21, of Cotton Ground was on Sept 14 charged with murder and attempt to commit carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16. Kaheel Herbert, 19, of Lower Thibou was shot multiple times in what can only be described as a public execution on September 22. Three gunmen entered the JNF emergency area just before 8pm and opened fire on him while he sat among others waiting to be treated. They followed a wounded Herbert into the treatment area filled with patients and emergency room staff and finished him off. Three suspects released without charge. There were three murders in October and four in November. Javier Isaac of Willett’s Village, St. Pauls, said to be in his early 20s was shot in his side just after 3am while attending an event and died while receiving treatment at the JNF Hospital on October 12. On November 24 Omax Bye of Fort Thomas Road, Jamal McSheen of Bird Rock and Zambi Heath of Cardin Avenue were formally arrested and charged. On Oct 21 at around 8:30 am, 27-year-old Shamon Herbert, formerly of Madhouse Alley, but who resides in Taylors, was en-route to work in Bird Rock when he was gunned down on a dirt path behind the boat yard at the CAP Southwell Industrial Site. He died en route to JNF. No one has been charged. At around 8:25am on October 23, Istan “Nozzle” Mitchum, 24, of College Street Ghaut was gunned down in Westbourne Ghaut. No one was charged. Part-time bus driver and full time brokerage agent Kevin “Broadie” Newman, 38, of St Peters, was shot and killed November 1 when a passenger held him up around 9pm as he was driving his passenger bus from Dieppe Bay heading towards St. Pauls. Suspect released without charge. Everson Seabrookes, originally from Nevis, said to be in his late 50s, was on November 14 shot multiples as he pulled up to his Needsmust home. A suspect was released without charge. On November 16-Wilson Jones aka “Hawk”, 38, of Fountain, Nevis, was gunned down on the waterfront in Nevis just after midnight. He died a few hours later after being transported to JNF Hospital. No one has been charged. In a most horrific scene in the Bayfords hill area on November 23, Prince Yahweh Shabba Henry led police to the body of his dismembered 12-day old son. He had taken the child from their home after midnight during a “mental episode”. He was subsequently charged with murder. December, the month of giving and carnival festivities, recorded the most murders for 2014. On Dec 1Jahvin Merritt, 31, was killed when an assailant put a gun through the window of his Buckleys Extension home and fired multiple shots into the victim as he lay in bed after 5am. No one has been charged. Colin Percival “Knotty” said to be in his 50s, was found shot dead in his Phillips’ home on Dec 6; his body already decomposing. No suspects apprehended. On December 8, 22-year-old Gavin “Bigz” Whyte of Buckleys Estate was gunned down on Lime Kiln playfield. After playing a friendly game of football with a 7 others, Whyte and two friends were at the side of the field talking when someone rode up on a bicycle and started firing at him. When he fell from the container he was sitting, the gunman went over him and fired several shots to Whyte’s head before riding off. No one has been charged. Dominican Republic native Cesar Pabel Santana of Stoney Grove Nevis was stabbed along with two others while at Enrique’s Bar on Dec 21 and succumbed to his wounds on December 27. Police are looking for 26-year-old Alexander Diaz of the Dominican Republic but who resides in Nevis. He is wanted for murder and the other stabbings. At the busy bus terminal on the Bay Road Tuesday night after 8 (Dec 30) Devon “De Wuss” Francis of McKnight was shot in the head. He is said to be in his 20s. Three other homicides have been labeled manslaughter. Kevon Gordon of Parray’s Village, St. Peters died as a result of an apparent domestic dispute with his girlfriend, 20-year-old Idalia Williams on February 9. She was charged with manslaughter. On July 25th Brian Francis alias “Junk-a-body” was beaten and died approximately two weeks later. On August 13 Ramon Palmer of Wades Garden, Basseterre was arrested and charged for the offence of Manslaughter. Leon Mills, 40, was stabbed/chopped to death at his home in Laguerite around 8pm November 9 during a domestic dispute with his wife Ruth Mills. She was charged with manslaughter. The murder detection rate continues to be abysmally low, falling from 33.3% in 2013 to 14% in 2014. Of note is the fact that at least two of those charged with murder last year were released before trial.