After a three-week trial which gripped the attention of the media and attracted widespread attention among the Turks and Caicos islands population, Cortez Simmons, the son and employee of Carl Simm
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Three men freed of shooting at police
Three men have been freed of shooting at two police officers. They were freed after a Port-of-Spain magistrate found that the lawmen’s version of the events had “serious credibility issues.” The men, Sheldon Paul, Sedeki Ellie and Kareem Halls, were freed by magistrate Melvin Daniel, last Friday, on the submission of Paul’s attorney Evans Welch.
In freeing the men, Daniel said he found that the State’s case had too many doubts surrounding the alleged incident. He said there were some credibility issues with the police version of the event, particularly the shooting of Paul. It was the State’s case that officers Terrance Le Blanc and Dexter Medina were in an unmarked police vehicle on December 18, 2009, when they received reports that the three men were in a Nissan B14 heading near Tenth Street and Eighth Avenue, Barataria, and were wanted for questioning.
The officers approached the men who sped off and a chase ensued. The officer said during the chase they were fired at and they returned fire. The men proceeded east along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway. The men then crossed the median and continued east along the west-bound lane of the highway and stopped when the car crashed. Both Ellie and Halls escaped. Paul was arrested at the scene of the crash. The other two men were held sometime after in Barataria.
Welch, in his submission, told Daniel that the charges, which included possession of arms and ammunition and possession of arms and ammunition with the intent to do grievous bodily harm to the two officers, were “trumped-up charges.” He said no firearms or ammunition were ever recovered and circumstantial evidence linking the men to any criminal activity were non-existent.
Welch also submitted that there were no injuries sustained by the police in the alleged shootout with the three men or any damage to their vehicle. Welch’s final point was that his client who police claimed was shot during the shootout, suffered no blood loss inside the vehicle he was allegedly in but evidence suggested that he suffered the injury after he came out of the car. The other two men were represented by Patrick Godson-Phillips who adopted the submissions of Welch.