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Nov 27, 2008

Darren Banks goes berserk in court

Story PictureDarren Banks is no stranger to the law and he was recently charged jointly with Steven Zelaya for two counts of Attempted Murder. When he appeared in the court of Chief Magistrate Margaret McKenzie for trial this morning he was acting strangely. Banks was speaking incoherently, saying strange things including that he was seeing snakes around him. This prompted the chief magistrate to order a psychiatric evaluation of the thirty year old. Along with the attempted murder charge, Banks is also awaiting trial for conspiracy to commit murder, theft and firearm and ammunition offences. This morning Banks’ mother and wife were blaming the system for his unusual behavior.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Darren Banks has been arrested numerous times for crimes ranging from breaking into the Customs to stealing pseudoephedrine and to attempting murder. His attorney Dickie Bradley explained the reason for Banks’ most recent incarceration.

Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney for Darren Banks
“He was allegedly seen in a vehicle on Central American Boulevard and shortly thereafter, another person chased the person who complained to the police and fired shots so that the link to Mr. Banks is that somehow that person came from the vehicle and either Mr. Banks was the driver and therefore that is the linkage. So he has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.”

Though he has not been convicted on any charge, an unusual twist has occurred in the saga of Darren Banks. Today we met his wife and mother in front of the courthouse, both frantic and worried about his health and safety at the Kolbe prison. Deserie Banks got a call at nine p.m. Monday night from a prison official who told her Darren was not well.

Deserie Banks, Wife of Darren Banks
“But he called me be back about nine-thirty, minutes to ten told me that he’s trying very hard but he cannot find the key to open the cell. So he said he was trying to get the phone inside the cell so Darren can talk to me so I can find out what was wrong with my husband but he said he could not get any signal in the jail.”

Elida Williams, Mother of Darren Banks
“I am upset because of the way I see my son. Yesterday when I talked to my son, my son wasn’t like that, ih noh talk to me so. When I hear weh di go on with my son I couldn’t believe it. And everybody know my son know him not like that.”

Jose Sanchez
“How was he talking? What happened?”

Elida Williams
“He was talking out ah ih mind, saying things that he see this and he see that and a lot of things. My son da no like that. They beat ah up inna di cell. When dehn done dehn seh ih knock his hand against di cell, dehn throw water pan ah.”

Deserie Banks
“They reserved a contact visit for me and him in the contact room at the Kolbe Foundation upstairs. His clothes was burnt up, he had on old clothes, his hair was all about. He had a burn on his hand. He told me “babes, everyday they wet up mi clothes.” Every morning ih get up, dehn mek ih put on wet clothes. Dehn wet up ah wid wata, ih sleep inna wata. Dehn noh want give a food and nothing. The judge said he’s on borrowed time and dehn supposed to put ah dah SuperMax and dehn no supposed to treat ah like dat. Like just now, when dehn ker ah just now di police rough up ah again and plain and straight he can’t hold up ihself. Dehn have to hold up ah.”

Richard “Dickie” Bradley
“The chief magistrate of the country, unknown to me, was in court and prior to her coming into the court, the conduct and behavior of Mr. Banks led the officials in the court and the police and the security officials to come to the conclusion that this is not normal behavior. As a consequence, the chief magistrate sent for me and when I went to her court she said “I am going to order a psychiatric evaluation of Mr. Banks”. She has seen Mr. Banks on many occasions and knows that is not his demeanor; knows from his physical appearance that something is wrong.”

The Banks women claim high ranking policemen are responsible for Darren’s mental health. On April fourth 2008, Banks himself made it clear he had issues with certain policemen.

Darren Banks, (April 4, 2008)
“Mr. Broaster wah talk bout how he wah f***ing kill my ma and my pickney, Jeffries …kill my ma and my pickney and all a den deh. Da beef di man want with me. HE wah talk how he wah kill my ma and my pickney and all ah deh r*** deh. Me noh got no conviction, no even one. Me dah noh no criminal.”

Richard “Dickie” Bradley
“He has strenuously, at every occasion, pointed out that there is no basis whatsoever. He is being targeted by the police as part of some crime fighting strategy to lock up as many people that in their view are causing problems to society. He’s never been convicted, and when you see the statements of those who are making the allegations. For example, he is before the courts on having firearms ammunition and dangerous drugs. The drugs were found in a yard next to a yard that he was in. So how could he even be linked to that? But yet he’s charged and hauled before the courts and applications have been made to deny bail.”

Jose Sanchez
“Sometimes they fake an illness so they can get off the charge. Is it that?”

Elida Williams
“My son noh di fake nothing. Everybody si ah, my son is not faking. Up to Miss McKenzie, di judge, know my son and she seh something wrong wid ah. And I tell ah, my son dah no like that, everybody know dat.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

This afternoon, Banks’ wife and mother came to News Five saying that the police continued to question him about weapons and ammunition. They accused him of committing murders with his hand, which prompted him to bang his arm repeatedly on the desk of the police station where he was being questioned today. According to the women, the officers began to laugh at him and escorted him to his home where they demanded he show them where he is hiding guns. Banks is scheduled to return to court with Zelaya for the attempted murder charge on January twenty-second, 2009. John Woods, of Kolbe Foundation told News Five that when he spoke to Banks at the central prison, he realized that the inmate was stressed out. He said that in prison Banks burnt his sheets, broke his phone, and claimed he saw lizards and tigers. But he denied that Banks had ever been beaten.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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