Dr. Browne scores one for client on murder charge

By Anastasha Elliott

On Monday Mario Pemberton was acquitted of gun charges laid against him as part of a murder investigation and subsequent trial in which, Dr. Henry S. Browne is defending him.

Pemberton is rooted to the Nevis community through both his parents. Last Tuesday the lucky man was also acquitted of murder charges in the same incident.

Tuesday June 6, Judge Madam Justice Oliveth in the high court in Tortola accepted a no case submission filed by Nevisian lawyer Browne freeing one of his clients (Pemberton) from a murder charge.

Browne was representing Pemberton and Lorne Parson who along with Clinton Ham and Selena Varlack are on trial for the murder of former Civil Aviation Department fireman Tristan Todman Industrious.

Last Tuesday Pemberton was set free. The case for the crown indicates that between August 29 –30, 2004 all four accused set out on a joint criminal enterprise which resulted in the death of Industrious.

According to reports filed by staff writer for the BVI Stand Point, Ruel Johnson, Industrious was found dead on August 30, 2004 around 8 a.m. on the passenger side of his black Mitsubishi Lancer in Nottingham Estate in the East End/Long Look area.

The report dated December 14, 2004 said he had sustained eight gunshot wounds about his body.

A document issued by Browne noted that the area is close to the home of Varlack. Industrious the document also said was found hanging out the passenger door of his car, by Carlton George who had gone to excavate in the area.

Police investigations into the matter revealed that a motor car driven by Ham of Harrigan Estate, Tortola, was seen very close to the area where the bullet ridden body of the deceased was found.

The crown alleged that Varlack of Pockwood Pond; Tortola had an intimate relationship with Ham.

The document originating out of the offices of Dr. Browne stated that Industrious was shot in the head and upper parts of his body.

It added that some forty-eight hours into the police investigation a 9.mm eagle pistol was found under the passenger seat in a jeep in which Pemberton was the driver and Parsons the passenger.

The weapon underwent forensic testing by English Forensic Expert Franceo Tomei who determined that the weapon was used in the commission of the crime.

Both Pemberton of Horsepath, Tortola and Parsons of Purcell, Tortola was charged for possession of the weapon and later Varlack and Ham were charged as a result of telephone calls made amongst them. They were arrested the week of December 11, 2004.

The crown called some 42 witnesses to make its case before the court in Tortola. However it was not enough to seal the fate of Mario Pemberton. On Friday June 2, Dr. Browne filed a no case submission that was accepted by Justice Oliveth the following Tuesday.

She however rejected the submissions made on behalf of Varlack, Ham and Parsons.

Both Pemberton who is now a free man and Parsons are represented by Dr. Browne who is assisted by Benedicta Samuels Richardson of the Tortola Bar.

Hayden St. Clair Douglas of the Trinidad bar who is assisted by Mr. Swan also of the Tortola Bar is representing Ham and Varlack is represented by Richard Rowe and also assisted by Mr. Swan.

The June 1st report of the BVI Stand Point disclosed that the jurors were taken to the crime scene at East End last Wednesday in addition to several other sites mentioned throughout the trial.

The prosecution were expected to wrap up their case against the three remaining accused persons on Wednesday. Defence attorneys were expected to begin their case yesterday (Thursday).