Marking the end of the April 2017 criminal assizes for Nevis, Ibal Tyson and Franchette Davis have been acquitted of any false doing after having charges of house breaking, larceny and burglary hanging over their heads for almost four years.
Both men were jointly charged in 2013 for a break-in that occurred in November 2013 and had been out on bail. Tyson was represented by attorney Robelto Hector, while Davis was represented by attorney Patrice Nisbett.
Their case began May 17 with Judge Trevor Ward QC. A 12-member jury panel consisted of five men and seven women. Crown Counsel Greatness Gordon represented the director of public prosecutions.
The prosecution’s main witness was a businessman by the name of Manners. He stated that about 4 a.m. on Nov. 7, 2013, he awoke to the sound of someone trying to get into his locked bedroom door. He said that he got up and opened the door and someone put a knife to his chest and demanded he get on the floor. He testified that while on the floor, he noticed three people and two wore black Converse sneakers and the third was barefoot. He said that he knew the barefooted man was that of Davis because when Davis comes to his shop, he is always barefooted and he “knows his feet.”
He told the court that all three wore dark clothing and had their faces covered with black T-shirts.
“While I was on the ground,” Manners testified, “Franchette stepped over me, went to the bar and the draw and took up a bamboo and a Blackberry.”
Manners estimated the value of everything stolen to approximate EC$7,000. He told the court that the thieves wore shirts that covered their foreheads and from the noses down. He said that he was asked to stay on the ground by the assailants until they left. After they were gone, Manners said he got up and called the police.
On cross, Manners was asked if there was enough light to see anyone’s face. He said the slot machine light was on and he could see. He was questioned if he could have seen the bandits’ faces beyond the T-shirts and he said yes.
On May 18, the Crown Council advised the court that they will be withdrawing the case against Davis. The prosecution brought three other witness to the stand, one a police officer and two civilians. At the end of Thursday, the prosecution closed its case.
On May 19, the 12-member jury sat to deliberate the case and presented its verdict. In under an hour, the jury reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
Tyson walked from the court a free man.