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May 29, 2008

Another Nolle Prosequi in murder case

Story PictureIt was one of several unsolved murders of 2006: the brutal killing of twenty year old David Pook. Pook’s body was discovered in a swamp off Faber’s Road on August twenty-eighth and according to investigators, appeared to have been tortured before being fatally stabbed. Three men: Ronnel Gonzalez, Clarence Grant and Edward Henry were later charged with the murder but this morning the trio walked away from the accusation after prosecutor Tracy Sosa entered a motion of nolle prosequi in the case. Court reports indicate that the main witness, Shana Balona, could not be found and despite the efforts of Sosa to have Balona’s witness statement, which was signed by a Justice of the Peace, admitted as evidence, in a trial within a trial Justice Herbert Lord ruled that the statement could not be considered by the jury. Lord felt that the police had not taken all reasonable steps to locate Balona and ensure her presence in court. Apparently the woman was in police custody on May third but was released by police on the condition that she reappear at the station on Monday. Balona has not been seen or heard from since. With the statement thrown out and the witness a no-show, Sosa was forced to indicate that she could not proceed with the case and the defendants were free to leave. Following the events of this morning, the victim’s family was understandably frustrated and focused their anger at Balona and the police.

Regino Pook, Father of Deceased
“They could have done far more better. What I have seen and know now that the police had jumped, arrest, then look for evidence which is totally wrong. They should have turned around the accused them, get sufficient evidence, then pinned them with the charge.”

Janelle Chanona
“Miss Adelita, as a mother who has lost her son what would you like to say to this witness who it appears intentionally did not want to bring the evidence that she could offer to court?”

Adelita Pook, Mother of Deceased
“Just remember that she is a woman, she has a mother. She has a mother and she has a sister and what goes around comes around because the same thing she does to me, someone is going to do to her. They had all evidence to convict those murderers and they didn’t do anything about it. They didn’t do any anything at all. My son’s life went just like that.”

Regino Pook
“I’m a father, I’m a justice of the peace also. I knew better, I know exactly how the law works out there. The police they have to tighten up.”

Ronnel Gonzalez was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley while Oswald Twist defended Clarence Grant. Simeon Sampson appeared on behalf of Edgar Henry. A nolle prosequi means that should new evidence come to light, the charges can be reinstated against the accused.

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