The Constable who allegedly shot and killed seventeen year old Philo Wallace in 2015 has been charged with manslaughter, a charge Wallaces father said should have been upgraded to murder.
According to a Police Press release Constable Zaviel Jeffers of Main Street, Old Road was arrested and charged for the offence of Manslaughter. This matter is related to the October 17, 2015 shooting death of Philo Wallace of Hamilton, Charlestown. The incident occurred at Cedar Trees, Charlestown, and Nevis.
The Observer spoke with Raffee Wallace fatherPhilo Wallacewho said he feels that Jeffers should have been charged with more than manslaughter. The charge of manslaughter is not justice, but at least he was charged something, Wallace said.
Young Wallace had attended a party at Enriques night club in Charlestown in October 2015 when an alleged altercation ensued between him and an off-duty member of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force later identified as Constable Jeffers. Wallace was shot in the chest that night as he ran toward the exit. He was rushed to the Alexander Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Following his death an inquest report was completed in January 2016, which was to determine how he died.. In March, a five-member jury rendered 4-1 a justifiable homicide verdict in favor of Jeffers.
The Director of Public Prosecution Valston Graham after taking post in late 2016 gave his commitment to look at the file. In speaking exclusively with the Observer in August of 2017 he saidhe was satisfied that the actions of Constable Jeffers was, in fact, disproportionate and could not be justified in his view, given the circumstances.
As such, on April 12,(2017) I wrote to Commissioner of Police Ian Queely and I advised him that criminal charges for the offense of manslaughter should be brought against constable Jeffers.
The manslaughter charge was levied 10 months after the DPP made his recommendation.
The Observer also spoke to Ruth Powell, of the Foundation of Social Concern, who noted that she was happy Jeffers has finally been charged with a crime. I am glad to see justices working as it should here in the Federation. This should bring some closure to the people of the federation regardless of the outcome of the trail, she said.
In continuing she said that this will certainly add to the credibility that the police have with the public that they are indeed following justice for all and that justice applies to everyone in the Federation regardless of who they are, she said.
A date has not yet been set as to when Jeffers case will be heard in the High Court.The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court sits twice a year in Nevis,during April andNovember.