`Death Squad’ witness killing: Three charged with murder
July 3, 2004
A BUSINESSWOMAN linked to a man he fingered in the killing of his younger brother and a young man who was close to him, appeared in court yesterday charged with killing self-confessed `Death Squad’ informant, George Bacchus.
A third person charged with the murder was still at large up to late yesterday.
The reputed wife of murder accused Ashton King is among the three charged with killing Bacchus.
The businesswoman, Debra Douglas called ‘Debbie’, along with the Bacchus family handyman Delon Reynolds, alias ‘Fat Boy’, appeared before Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen.
Following their appearance Holder-Allen issued an arrest warrant for a third person, Fabian Jessup, known as Fabi, who is also implicated in the early morning execution style killing.
Douglas and Reynolds stood in the dock as the magistrate read the two joint charges against them.
Particulars of the first one said that on June 24 at Princes Street, Georgetown, they unlawfully murdered George Bacchus, popularly known as `Bombalay’.
The other charge which police have slapped on them alleges that sometime between June 22 -24, they conspired with each other along with Jessup to commit the murder.
Information relating to the indictable charges was sworn by Detective Inspector Bryan Vieira, attached to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
Douglas, whose husband is part owner of the A&D Funeral Parlour in Georgetown and currently remanded in jail charged with killing Bacchus’ younger brother Shafeek, is being represented like King, by Attorney-at-Law Vic Puran.
Reynolds did not have a lawyer present.
Police Chief Inspector Gordon Peters indicated to the court after the charges were read that based on investigations, the prosecution needed at least one month before the preliminary inquiry can commence.
He said the police were making full efforts to arrest the number three accused, Jessup.
But Puran urged the magistrate to set an early date for the inquiry, claiming that the evidence against his client is `say-so’ by her co-accused, which is no evidence.
He argued that the prosecution cannot charge persons and then ask for time to investigate.
He claimed that the charges have been laid prematurely.
There was tight security as a large crowd gathered outside the court compound and persons were prevented from entering the courtyard.
Some yelled to Douglas to be strong since they were praying for her.
Yesterday’s appearance by both accused was brief. They quickly entered and exited in separate green police mini-buses, which were accompanied to the prison by a number of policemen and women.
Douglas and Reynolds were remanded to prison, since both charges are not bailable.
They are due back in court on July 22 for reports.
The charges against the three followed unconfirmed reports that Reynolds Wednesday confessed to killing Bacchus after he helped police find a gun in a dung heap in the yard where Bacchus lived.
A police press release Thursday said a firearm which may have been used to kill Bacchus had been recovered and was subject to scientific tests. Police said scientific tests were also done on suspects.
Bacchus was shot three times in the head and body with a .38 gun while he was in bed just before 03:00 hrs last week Thursday.
Two close relatives who lived with Bacchus at the four-storey house in Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown, were among those detained by police.
Police said more than 50 persons were questioned and 19 arrested. The release said several homes were also searched during the probe.
Douglas, who had been questioned before, was held by the police Thursday after her name was allegedly called regarding an intended payment to the killer.
Reports said Reynolds was employed by the Bacchus family as a handyman and slept in a hammock on the property.
The man was described as a loyal friend to Bacchus until they had a recent falling out.
Bacchus was the key witness against King and Shawn Hinds who are charged with killing his brother Shafeek in a drive-by shooting outside the Princess Street residence on January 5.
A preliminary inquiry into the murder charge against the two is under way.
A third man held in that case, Mark `Kerzorkee’ Thomas, died in hospital a short while after he was arrested.
After his brother’s murder, George Bacchus went to the media and the United States Embassy with allegations that Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Ronald Gajraj had started a `Phantom Squad’ that targetted known and dangerous criminals in order to stem the crime wave unleashed after the February 23 jailbreak in 2002.
Gajraj has denied the charges.
Bacchus was buried Thursday with mainly relatives present.