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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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You don’t deserve to live
Curious onlookers yesterday threatened the life of Dwayne Lewis, the 28-year-old man charged with killing six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch, as he left the Arima Magistrates Court en route to the St Ann’s Hospital where he is to undergo an evaluation.
The onlookers, of various ages, shouted abuses at Lewis and officers when he was being taken to and from court, asking that Lewis not be allowed to hide his face and that the officers display him for the public to see, all so that they could feed their curiosity to see the man accused of carrying out such an act on an innocent child. Officers also had to quell several situations in which it seemed the crowd was threatening to overwhelm the police and converge on Lewis as he was being taken to the police vehicle for transportation to St Ann’s.
A sign of what was to come occurred on his arrival for court around 3.10 pm, when he was snuck into the courthouse by police, who ordered the vehicle he arrived in to drive straight into the compound. Onlookers were heard then expressing their disgust that they had not been able to see the suspect and pledging to wait until the end of the matter to get that chance. About two hours later, the officers were not so merciful to Lewis. They paraded him from the courthouse to a waiting police car in full glare of the media and onlookers.
The crowd became more agitated as Lewis was marched from the courtroom to the police vehicle, three car lengths away from the main exit of the court building. Some of members of the public were heard threatening to castrate Lewis at this stage. One man had a glass bottle taken away from him by police, after he was heard saying he wanted to attack the accused and would surely be granted bail if he assaulted Lewis.
A woman was also stopped by a police sergeant when she attempted to get a closer view of Lewis with a glass bottle in her hand, while another was pushed to the ground by an officer while Lewis was being transported from the first vehicle he was put in, to another, as she attempted to get too close to the accused. “I want to bite up he like a dog,” one woman was heard shouting. Another woman said all she wanted was “one moment with him.”
Some of the onlookers were heard saying that Lewis, a security officer, did not deserve to live, especially while in prison since “is we feeding he.” “He don’t deserve to live,” one woman shouted with support from those around her.
Threats by prisoners
Earlier inside the courtroom, Lewis’ attorney, Fareed Ali, told Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno his client was threatened by other prisoners at the courthouse, with some throwing their food at him when he was placed in the holding cell. Lewis, who had no relatives in court during his 75-minute appearance, 60 of which was spent by Ali complaining of the ills his client endured at the hands of the police, appeared dazed during the proceedings.
Lewis is charged with killing Cumberbatch on a date unknown between November 24 and November 29. Cumberbatch went missing from her Maloney Gardens, D’Abadie, home on November 25. Her decomposing body was found in a barrel in her mother Simone Williams’ apartment three days later.
Ali told the magistrate for five days his client was not allowed to bathe or use the bathroom. He added that his client was made to urinate in a plastic bottle and when asked about how he defecated, Ali said Lewis “controlled that urge.” Ali said his client was psychiatrically evaluated at the Eric Williams Medical Complex, Mt Hope, during his two stays at the hospital for an asthma-related illness.
He said following the first attack, Lewis was prescribed medication to prevent a relapse but police failed to give him the medication, resulting in him being re-admitted on December 5 to December 16, when he was eventually discharged. Ali asked that his client be psychiatrically evaluated at St Ann’s, since the hospital did not give a forensic psychological report. He added that given the fact that his client was under a suicide watch such a report was needed.
Court prosecutor, Sgt Valerie Leon, presented a copy of a report and told the magistrate if the report was insufficient, then the doctors who did it would have indicated that. She added that there have been reports of escapes by prisoners at the St Ann’s Hospital, which she said did not have adequate security. After hearing both sides, Cedeno adjourned the matter to December 30 and ordered that Lewis be evaluated at St Ann’s and a report presented to the court on that day.
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