Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicos, December 10, 2023 – Three young men, according to police investigation, who are allegedly involved in the Dock Yard/Kew Town gang in both joined and separate matters were adjourned to early 2024. All three men were ordered to remain at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) without bail.
He was taken to the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday November 5th, 2023, arraigned before the Hon Chief Magistrate(CM) Mr. Jolyon Hatmin on charges of Gang membership or being a gang member and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit a serious offense.
The learned CM told the accused REGINALD TALBOT, who was represented by two attorneys; Oliver Smith, KC and his junior assistant, Kimone Tennant, that he (the CM) can only read the charges to him at this stage and the matter was transferred to the Supreme Court.
This he did, and the accused was remanded until February 2nd 2024 for a Sufficiency Hearing.
His attorney immediately filed a civil bail application in the Supreme Court, and the bail hearing was heard on Thursday, December 7th 2023.
The allegations against TALBOT are that on August 2nd 2023 (this being the date an alleged gang boss/leader Guilene “GB” Jean Baptiste was killed in Grace Bay), TALBOT was reportedly seen by a police drone with what appeared to be a short gun in his right hand, alongside other masked gang members with what appeared to be much larger and longer heavy duty rifles in their hands. The drone surveillance allegedly picked up images of the group while they were in Dock Yard, Providenciales, said to have been caught on camera shooting at the police and their armored truck.
Talbot is not charged with discharging firearm or ammunition because the police could not ascertain who fired the shots at them, however, they did state, according to Principal Public Prosecutor Clement Joseph that police returned fire, had to retreat and they were outnumbered by what could only be a gang.
Senior Defense attorney Oliver Smith, KC, when putting forward his submission to the Hon lady Justice Tanya Lobban-Jackson in seeking bail for his client, said that this “anti-gang ordinance” was poorly drafted.
KC Smith told the court, “the charges against his client were flimsy, paper-thin, without substance and has no teeth.”
He challenged the continued detention of his client constitutionally, stating his client has a right to bail and this court must not take it lightly. He said his client may be a USA citizen indeed, but he’s no less of a Turks Islander as he has a TCI passport as well. He has dual citizenship, and they’re willing to surrender both passports for bail. He told her Ladyship that the young man lives here with his parents at an address known to Police.
Making a case that Talbot was not a flight risk.
Mr. Smith KC challenged the prosecution’s submission to the court that because an alleged other gang member WOODY VINCENT JEAN BAPTISTE was refused bail by this court for the same allegations on the same date and time, his client must receive the same fate.
Oliver Smith said, Clement Joseph wants the court to apply “a one size fit all” view to this application, but he submitted there are case laws to support the possibility of variations in bail decisions.
The judge, having heard both sides for just over two hours, ruled against the applicant and denied the bail application. Talbot is now remanded until his Sufficiency Hearing in February.
The lady justice, in her reasons for refusal said that she relied heavily on the affidavit evidence on Police Sgt. Kevin Mars as it outlined that the clothing seen from footage taken by the drone worn by the defendant in Dock Yard on the date of the incident on August 2nd, 2023, as compelling.
The judge explained that the very same ripped jeans pants, the very unique multi-color sneakers/tennis and the very same hoody with “Class of 21” was found in his room when Police conducted a search at his residence. These were items worn by the male picked up in the drone footage.
Magnetic Media has confirmed that this is exactly the same type of evidence the police and prosecution are relying on in the case against Woody Vincent Jean Baptiste where clothing seen on cameras and by officers at the murder scene of his brother Guilene “GB” Jean Baptiste in Grace Bay, were also identified in the drone video of the group of men captured on footage on August 2, in a shootout with Police in Dock Yard.
According to police, Baptiste was also picked up on the drone in Dock Yard later that same day, along with Reginald Talbot and other so called, “gang members.”
In Baptiste’s case, Police also report they found the pants in a search at his home, that matched the Grace Bay camera videos and the very same pants he was still wearing at the shoot-out with the police in Dock Yard, that very day.
WOODY VINCENT JEAN BAPTISTE was last in court in this gang matter at his Sufficiency Hearing on Friday December 1st, 2023, before her Ladyship the Hon Chief Justice Mable Agyemang and he was committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court. His remand continues to January 26th, 2024 for a plea and directions hearing (PDH).
As for the third alleged gang member CYDEREO SMITH his Sufficiency Hearing was originally set for December 5, 2023. Smith’s arrest and charges are linked to a February 5 shooting at the underground parking lot of the Regent Grand Village in Grace Bay. That sufficiency hearing is now adjourned to January 5.