Alfonso Noble, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Refused Blood Sample
Is Alfonso Noble a religious convert and if so when did he become a Jehovah’s Witness? Late this evening, attorney Herbert Panton issued a statement concerning comments he made in the media following Wednesday’s arraignment. Tonight, we revisit the tragic incident that claimed the life of Gilbert Myers and we look at Noble’s refusal to provide a blood or urine sample. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the following story.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
Alfonso Noble, editor in chief of the Guardian Newspaper, was arraigned on Wednesday morning before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, following a deadly collision on Christmas Eve. The mishap claimed the life of a Hattieville resident who was riding a bicycle along the George Price Highway on Friday night. Gilbert Myers was fatally knocked down near mile four, a short distance from the police checkpoint, near the entrance to the coastguard headquarters. In the wake of the accident, the popular talk show host refused to provide investigators with blood or urine samples. Attorney Herbert Panton, in an interview with the media following his client’s indictment, told reporters that Noble had been asked to provide blood specimen only.
Herbert Panton, Attorney for Alfonso Noble
“The request was specifically for blood. There was no request made for, according to the facts that I read, the request was specifically for blood.”
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, Commander of Eastern Division South, Noble was given the option to provide a urine sample. He declined the opportunity.
ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South
“The law does provide that the police may request blood or urine specimen and that was done. So even if, as Mr. Panton is saying, for religious reasons he does not want to extract blood, religion does not stop you from peeing and that’s the alternative that you have other than extracting blood and both processes were refused by Mr. Noble in relation to the investigation.”
Panton, who, after dismissing a colleague’s question as semantic, would later reveal Noble’s religious association to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“I believe he’s Jehovah’s Witness.”
That Christian denomination is best known for its followers who refuse military service and blood transfusion. While members are instructed to reject the giving of blood, Jehovah’s Witnesses do accept non-blood alternatives and other medical procedures instead of transfusion.
“There are people who refuse to give blood specimen for religious reasons, but we will get to that at trial.”
The writings of Jehovah’s Witnesses however, do speak to other non-blood medical procedures. It is not clear when this picture of Noble was taken, but it is evident that prior to or after his conversion he has provided blood specimen.
The U.D.P. stalwart hasn’t commented publicly, other than to say that he has no words for the family of the deceased. Andrea Myers, the grieving widow and mother, is still trying to come to grips with what has happened.
Andrea Myers, Wife of Deceased
“When I get the message only me and two ah my baby mi deh home and I just call my kids dehn one-by-one and I give dehn di message and when I give dehn di news that dehn pa dead da like we noh know weh fi do because all ah we just stay eena wahn corner and breakdown and cry and come together as a family and try, you know, try di deh fi each other. But up to now ih still hurt all ah we. Ih hurt all ah we because, like ah seh, ih done dead and gone and ih noh wahn come back but I wah always rememba he, every time I go eena my house I always sih ahn eena my sofa di sihdown. I done use to he di mek noise to me and my kids dehn and that da weh I wah miss.”
Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.
In an unsigned statement purportedly issued by Panton, he says, “I informed them that it was my view that my client Mister Alfonso Noble is a member of the Jehovah Witness faith. It has come to my attention since then that Mister Noble is not a Jehovah’s Witness. I have also learnt that from a leader in the Jehovah’s Witness that one of the doctrines of the faith is that they do not receive blood in respect of blood transfusion, there is no such doctrine with regards to the giving of blood particularly in the circumstances of a police investigation. In any event, it is Mister Noble’s constitutional right to refuse to give a blood sample.”