Five police officers charged with murder

Scene as the officers were brought into court on Friday
Scene as the officers were brought into court on Friday

Five police officers have been charged in connection with the death of Joshua Etienne of Portsmouth.

The five appeared before a Roseau Magistrate on Friday and were charged with murder.

They have been remanded in at the state prison in Stock Farm.

A judicial review into the matter was discontinued on Wednesday and it was expected the five would have charges read out to them.

However, this did not take place as the defense said that they did not receive any notice that they should appear in Court and the matter should have been heard on April 2.

The officers are Orlan Vigille, Delvin Challenger, Martin Seaman, Gemma Louis and Sergeant Hayden Morgan.

They were arrested after Etienne was found dead in police cells in Portsmouth on July 4, 2014.

There was a heavy police presence at the court in Roseau on Friday morning as the officers were brought in.

The media and family members were not allowed in the courtroom.

More on this story later.

Scene as the police officers were brought in
Scene as the police officers were brought in

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103 Comments

  1. Joy
    March 30, 2015

    Mamas and Papas a warning !!! Please don’t raise your sons and daughters to be policemen and policewomen in Dominica. It is a bad thing and you dont wish bad on your children for sure.

  2. Envar
    March 30, 2015

    DNO i not hearing nothing about the gardens murder…. the police they say that do it still there perfecting hos skills… in lies and deception to include others….

  3. Pop
    March 29, 2015

    Its a sad reality for the parties concerned. However, the Ministry of National Security through the Police service must get modern in terms of their recruiting process and procedures.
    There is a dying need to employ only nationals who are called to be Police officers not those who join the service as a way of being gainfully employed. The Police force is extremely important therefore, a more strident screening process is needed and better background checks and psychological and even Spiritual and moral wellness.
    Police officers must never cease to keep the moral and spiritual values up to scratch on a daily basis…….
    Police officers are human beings and therefore deserve to be respect and shown love. However, they must always do the same and maintain a high level of professionalism in the conducting of their affairs…..
    Just wanna appeal to the Police commissioner to care for his charges by putting systems in place so that those who join the force may become better human…

    • omg
      March 31, 2015

      so are you trying to say an atheist should not be a police officer?
      Spirituality has nothing to do with police recruitment. Background check yes, psychological evaluation yes. They are the enforcers of the law and should not integrate their own spiritual beliefs on the law of the land. Everyone has different religious beliefs, hence, should in no way be considered for recruitment

  4. concerned parent
    March 29, 2015

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ozgw7PMXwJc

    speer the rod you spoil the child and set a wrong example that breeds lawlessness.
    See the video featuring someone charged in 2013 (almost six months after the incedent) with manslaughter of a scholarly young lady in 2012.
    the prosecutor asked that he be banned from driving boats until the case…here he is in the video carelessly driving a boat full of tourist and using his feet to do so while clearly not paying attention to the task of responsibly captaining the boat.
    Is he prepared to respond if someone falls overboard from the bow of the boat?
    Similarly would the magistrate be negligent by not following due diligence?

    • MUDD
      March 30, 2015

      And what’s your point..what dose that have to do with the case of the police officers

  5. Francisco Telemaque
    March 29, 2015

    A criminal, no matter their status in life is a criminal, and should be treated as such! Once the individuals are charged with a crime; especially murder, they should be arrested and placed exactly where such criminals belongs. They should be held in the jail house at Stock Farm the same as any other criminal.

    Now, I do not believe in bonding, or granting bail to murderers, nevertheless, if bail is appropriate, they should be held in jail until bail is granted. The fact that they are held in the police brick is an indication that they are given some special treatment, that is wrong.

    Because the holds the title of police officer should not be a reason to treat them as if they are above the law.

    They are indeed treated as if they are above the law, no one is above the law, and must be treated in the way as any other culprit who are suspected of murder, or committing any other crime against society!

    • Free and Fair
      March 30, 2015

      “They have been remanded in (custody) at the state prison in Stock Farm.” Did you miss this line, Francisco?

  6. Cockball
    March 29, 2015

    Folks that charge is the first step to setting these men free. It is very difficult to prove premeditation in a case like this. I am inclined to believe that the beating the victim received at the hands of these officers was so brutal that he eventually died as they failed to provide him with medical attention. That means a charge on manslaughter is applicable and a conviction is far easier to obtain. There is a likelihood that the murder charge could be thrown out due to lack of evidence which would be a big miscarriage of justice. Mark my words, this is Dominica.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      March 30, 2015

      The actions of the people who beat Etienne to death was indeed premeditated. Premeditation is not difficult to substantiate in this case. Premeditating is as simply as consideration, or planing of an act beforehand that shows intent to commit an act.

      The man was under arrest, locked into a cell I suppose: when the police decide to unlock the door of the cell entered, and confronted the prisoner, that was premeditated. They sat and decided on a reason to enter that cell; they had an agenda, they knew what they intended to do, wether is was for simply a matter if intimidation, to extract information from him, that in itself would be premeditated.

      Four or five people involved, at least one of them should have seen too much force was used on a defenseless man already in police custody and should have told his/her colleagues to cease the beating, that there was no intervention means to intended their actions all along; which boils down to premeditation.

      I do agree that they will…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        March 30, 2015

        I do agree they will be set free, if that was not the intention of the judiciary, they would be held at Stock Farm; nevertheless is the charge of first degree murder cannot be substantiated, second degree murder, or manslaughter should be in order. I do not see how any judge an jury should set these criminals free.

        In the event they are set free, the family of the departed should file a wrongful death law suite against the police, and the State for murdering they beloved while in police custody!

      • Francisco Telemaque
        March 31, 2015

        ” wether is was for simply a matter if intimidation, to extract information from him, that in itself would be premeditated.”

        They entered the cell, wether it was for a simple matter of intimidation, or to extract information from him; that in itself would be premeditated; they intended to harm him!

    • March 31, 2015

      D.n. o. Whats the difference#???? Only in D/A.

  7. March 29, 2015

    That is good news but at the end of this case this is what matters…the result ,,make them pay for murdering someones child ,if civilians can pay police should pay too..

  8. own news
    March 29, 2015

    There is a God above…To much corruption in the country!!!…How can they do such thing…Their families may be supporting them , but i dont believe that they were even thinking of their family…If the court dont go fair, Papa Jah will give them wat they deserve….

  9. not against
    March 28, 2015

    Why does the public hate the police so much? Wanting them in jail? When the young man killed the other one Laudat and got bail the next where were you all? The woman that killed the two kids in mahaut and granted bail and now is in Canada, where were you all?

    • omg
      March 31, 2015

      You are so right. that’s the same folks who will call the police… and honestly, if I was a police officer, I wouldn’t give a care in the world.

  10. Doc. Love
    March 28, 2015

    The honesty of the attorneys representing the police officers should be seriously investigated. I wonder if the delay was not as a result of more money entering the pockets of certain lawyers. The murder was committed in the custody of the police officers, therefore, at some time, the charges had to be read. Why hold on for approximately eight months to come to the conclusion which could have been made during the week of the arrest. I could understand if a lawyer was questioning as to whether his client was involved, but to question the validity of the charges made no sense. Many cases have been thrown out of court or the sentence reduced because the instructions given to the jurors at the end of the case by the judge, as far as the jurors were concerned, felt, did not correspond with the charges. Sometime, the jurors even ask the judge for further clarification, in order , to arrive at a decision. Imagine a lawyer pulled out.

  11. ParoInRoseau
    March 28, 2015

    The Justice System in Dominica sucks!!! Only when persons will start taking matters into their own hands the justice system will become fair and right… until then they will do whatever they want with whoever they want and we can only sit and make comments on DNO… Too much marjee going on in Dominica!

  12. March 28, 2015

    Interested news

  13. Shaka zulu
    March 28, 2015

    First person I would call to stand is the commissioner. He publicly stated it was a homicide. It must have been clear evidence. If he back track or refuse to testify then he should be fired. Two of the officers had already cost the state over 500k dollars in law suit. Police are there to maintain law and order not to issue punishment. Jousha Francis was basically arrested, sentenced to death and executed before having received due process. Executed for a crime of possession of ammunition. That cannot be acceptable. At least the policemen getting a chance for fair trial a right they denied joushua. Even if they some are not found guilty I think they should be fired already. The fact they are charged means there is enough evidence to take matter to trial. We have to get serious.

    • Shaka zulu
      March 28, 2015

      Sorry jousha Etienne

  14. real possie
    March 28, 2015

    I see you people up in arms , all am saying if they chose to house them at the barracks until the outcome of the case Is the right way, if it was in the States that’s how it would be done until they are found guilty.

    • cassida
      March 28, 2015

      we are not in the states. smh. i hate when people compare my island to every thing that is happening in the states, states what?stupes

  15. Concern
    March 28, 2015

    Please DNO. Find individual photos of each police officers so that we can know who they are. There are many of us who are hearing about this but have no idea who they are.

    • MajeUTalkin
      March 28, 2015

      if it was me they would take my pic on fb tho.

  16. The Theater
    March 28, 2015

    But wait a minute nou. Haven’t we seen this movie before? Why so many people are gathered by the theater that we call magistrate court? To watch the same movie again, with just a different headline and a different day? Did they play that same movie when Mr. & Mrs. GON Emmanuel were on their bed sleeping Christmas of 2010? Didn’t they play that same game and dragged the case? Wasn’t a gentleman ordered to come down to face charges? Wasn’t he arrested at the airport? Wasn’t he charged years after the incident occurred? Wasn’t he bailed? Wasn’t the case dismissed? In recent times I have seen this movie over and over and therefore I know exactly what to expect.

    • office 2
      March 28, 2015

      To all the persons running their mouth the officers are presently at the state prison with no preferencial treatment

      • Joy
        March 30, 2015

        Maybe you should be there to.

  17. celedrity mum
    March 28, 2015

    they were not even allowed to post bail so why are they not in the state prison , so when is their bail hearing

    • Rabbit Ears
      March 29, 2015

      monkey read and understand

    • Rabbit Ears
      March 29, 2015

      they must go free fools that was the wrong charge lol lol lol

  18. watching
    March 28, 2015

    My dear seaman you are a strong ma n and a good man trust in the lo rd and no man cannot hindder you strong people are with you

  19. Hhhmmmm
    March 27, 2015

    Hhhmmmmm…..folks!!!! I’ve just been thinking!!! Could it be that the request for a Judicial Review to be conducted in this case was withdraw due to the absence of the lawyer who initiated it (causing a halt to the proceedings)? Could it be that he asked for a lot of money and that he intended to drag this on but that since the money was not forthcoming, he decided to pull out and the defence re-evaluated the position and decided to not to go down such a costly route?? Just wondering….

  20. BooHoo
    March 27, 2015

    I hope you all realize what is taking place here. They are just satisfying the victim’s family to make them think that they are doing something but everyone of them know that the murder charges will never stick. To prove murder you have to prove premeditation and intent. We all know (and let’s hope it’s true) that there was no intent. We firmly believe that the death was accidental. They need to charge these men with manslaughter, accidental death and death wile in police custody. No jury will be able to convict for murder so we cannot rejoice too early.

  21. March 27, 2015

    one police man commits a crime and was placed at stockfarm now five are charged for murder and are getting preferencial treatment in their barracks. hmm, dominica really nice wii. anyway wishing the family all the best

    • BEB
      March 28, 2015

      No police officer wouldn’t want to beat a prisoner to cause his death, its an accident and we all have to live with it. It’s a sad situation both for the families who had to bury their loved one and to the police officers who have to live with the guilt that a prisoner died while in their custody, their families are also worried and troubled over their families who are in custody and do not know their faith..

      • NKRUMAH KWAME
        March 30, 2015

        Deb, I hope you say the very same thing when someone of your immediate family suffers such atrocity! HOTEP!

  22. Anonymous
    March 27, 2015

    Corporal Louis i know you’ve been a hard worker in the force for years. You have always been pressed by the oppressors but God will see you through we are in constant prayer with you

    • Joy
      March 30, 2015

      O please give me a break. I am also praying ofr the man and his family that Louis gets time in Jail for along time.

  23. March 27, 2015

    We must always remember we all have family. And for the record they are stock farm not at HQ. One life to live justice is served. One family is SAd and another is rejoicing. Both family’s were not allowed in the court. Learn to share the correct news thank u

  24. Run but can't hide
    March 27, 2015

    What about discontinuing the judicial Review as well, re, the case involving 42 charges of fraud filed by GON Emanuel against the other lawyer Isidore? After how many Years, up to now, the charges cannot be read to Isidore. Judicial review was granted by the Court. No case? That case close? Millions of $$$$$$$$ alledgedly stolen.

    Justice delayed is justice denied.

    What about judicial review again granted to Skerritt’s lawyers re. Declaration of his assets to the IPO. Since 2013, the IPO wants to question Skerritt to verify his 2013 declaration of his assets. Up to now, no appearance. Judicial review. IPO blocked and unable to question PM. Did the IPO accept his 2014 declaration? But the 2013 one has not been verified by the IPO !!!! Let the IPO question PM if he has nothing to hide. Discontinue that Judicial Review also.

  25. mine
    March 27, 2015

    Well police or no police if you kill and there is contrete evidence you got to face the fact and deal with it. Wrong is wrong the had no right kill him, fur ther more he died in their custody.

  26. wesley girl
    March 27, 2015

    They should be treated like everyone else, send them to stockfarm.

  27. glenda
    March 27, 2015

    justice, need to be served. Lord he is someone family member.

  28. Rits
    March 27, 2015

    To God be the glory. I know Joshua must be smiling now. To his family justice has been done. Please keep trusting God. .

  29. Tampa
    March 27, 2015

    To our Civil Society Institutions, Pastors and Priests,

    You all seem to remain deathly silent in the face of continuous injustice and attempts to pervert justice. Those of you who remain silent when you are supposed to be the voice of justice will carry the blood of this country on your hands. Your voice is an important voice in a Christian nations. Ettiene, Gon Emmanuel, Grell Seraphine who was murdered while he slept on the street, Wasin Pak who was also murdered on the street while he slept, the vagrant who was shot in the buttocks by a police inspector, the other who was burnt alive and so many other incidents. You all should be leading a crusade in the country against such things. Do not wait until it is on your doorstep. Yet you remain silent out of fear of the authorities and for a few pieces of silver or gold. Speak up! Say something! Wake up from your hypnosis! Wake up from your insensitivity! Your silence creates the perception of consent.

  30. DLP Theater
    March 27, 2015

    But wait a minute nou. Haven’t we seen this movie before? Why so many people are gathered by the theater that we call magistrate court? To watch the same movie again, with just a different headline and a different day? Did they play that same movie when Mr. & Mrs. GON Emmanuel were on their bed sleeping Christmas of 2010? Didn’t they play that same game and dragged the case? Wasn’t a gentleman ordered to come down to face charges? Wasn’t he arrested at the airport? Wasn’t he charged years after the incident occurred? Wasn’t he bailed? Wasn’t the case dismissed? In recent times I have seen this movie over and over and therefore I know exactly what to expect.

  31. dey joking karl
    March 27, 2015

    the word should read applicable to Dominican policemen….

  32. dey joking karl
    March 27, 2015

    YOU really and truly is a thirsty FOOL..is this law only applies to Dominica police men…JUST ANswer my questions…..

  33. Concerned
    March 27, 2015

    Morgan God has not given you a spirit of Fear but of power and of a sound mind! No matter what you go through God is with you, he promised that he will never leave you nor forsake you and I know that he is looking down on all of us today.

    To the family, Keep Praying God is with you all in all this!

    • MajeUTalkin
      March 27, 2015

      @ CONCERNED: Wait a minute ; are you saying that God condones murder? What kinda God you serve?

      • I kno the God I serv
        March 27, 2015

        @ Majeutalkin.
        No he does not. But he never leaves his children even in the worst of situations.
        I am glad he is not like you, quick to speak and slow to listen. He listens , he sees and he hears!
        He is the head of this one and I will reiterate my point, Morgan God is with you in all this.

      • looking on
        March 28, 2015

        have u found him guilty of the crime already

      • Truth
        March 30, 2015

        Thou Morgan was responsible for the station at the time, he did not commit any crime and therefore he should not have received the same charge as the others. He should have been charge for disciplinary not murder. He was not micromanaging the station and did not expect adults to behave in that manner. Man will always hate peace makers.

    • legion
      March 27, 2015

      Oh thou fool, the lord don’t condone murder

  34. Thorbjørn Jagland
    March 27, 2015

    Closure for family. Hey, this is Dominica, dem fellas WILL GO FREE NO MATTER WHAT! Just wait and see if Mano cannot get justice a former magistrate who de hell can! :mrgreen:

    • March 27, 2015

      :cry: :cry: why he did not think of his family he did not know the other person has a family

  35. justice
    March 27, 2015

    Justice for joshua!!!!!! They thought because u was a parro u not important??? Well news flash to the monsters…….ur life is important just as theirs and u have family and friends that loves u

  36. March 27, 2015

    Sorry, a life was lost. But as my former commander, said. You can indie a ham sandwich. That is going to hold true, at the end of it all. And when all the facts are in. People you read it again first on D.n.O. The officer will be found not guilty!!! Sorry, the country nice boy. All are we is one family. Just remember

    • Chris
      March 27, 2015

      Shut up you fool. #####

      • March 27, 2015

        You have to open your mouth to confirm it. I’m not afraid of bully. That hurt???? Sorry, smarty.

    • March 27, 2015

      if it was your family would you say that have a heart

    • joe
      March 27, 2015

      And why will that happen? Are you saying family lawyer and the DPP are that hopeless? Well coming from you I will remember not to employ that lawyer!!!!!

    • March 28, 2015

      Smh. What happens to freedom of opinion? What are we really promoting? I’m confused, my opinion, and free speech, did not violate your policy. Did it? Bare in mind my comment & opinion was supposedly checked and posted, and just because it got persons who disagree with my opinion, Hensel it was taken off. Only in Dominica, we really not ready. God bless up and down Dominica.

    • March 28, 2015

      D.n. o. Only in Dominica. Smfh. What happened to freedom of speach& freedom of opinion. We not ready.

  37. dominican to the bon
    March 27, 2015

    lets rum through that again. you charging civilians with murder and they are going stock farm but police have to remanded at the police barracks to eat good food and laugh and talk with their friends . thats so unfair! #onlyindominica

    • looking on
      March 28, 2015

      they are at stock farm prison DNO why dont you report the facts

  38. Anthony Ismael
    March 27, 2015

    Why are they not in the big house?

    • forreal
      March 27, 2015

      for their safety,come on they are police officers.

  39. Outside Looking In
    March 27, 2015

    They should be up in the Stockfarm Prison like everyone else on remand.

    • March 27, 2015

      I support you one hundred and ten percent on thay

  40. SN
    March 27, 2015

    Keeping them in police barracks seem like special treatment. Charging them with murder is one step. The essential ingredient to them receiving justice is finding them guilty.

    • Sunday Islander
      March 27, 2015

      Murder is premeditated . They should be charged with manslaughter. :?:

      • Jayson
        March 28, 2015

        That’s why they’re maybe being charged for murder and not manslaughter, so they can get away.

    • looking on
      March 28, 2015

      i guess you have the evidence of murder in your hands why try them just send them jail nah. so justice is to find them guilty well well well

  41. kimrah
    March 27, 2015

    My good ness just jail them..

    • jenn
      March 27, 2015

      They are innocent until proven guilty. They need their day in court to see if they can cover up. Just know there was no one else in the cell

  42. Tarish in gwada
    March 27, 2015

    “POLICE STATION????” Damn nonsesnse stockfarm not for one set wdh

    • March 27, 2015

      well in Dominica it is for one set

    • looking on
      March 28, 2015

      some of you are sooooo foolish it makes me cry for you.

  43. Not a herd follower
    March 27, 2015

    Finally! Thanks to the public outcry

  44. Merlot
    March 27, 2015

    Prayers are being answered!!!! This is the first step to some sort of closure for the family…keeping them in prayer.

    • omg
      March 30, 2015

      Oh please….when you was alive committing crimes where was his family. Why didn’t they step in to help him then? Now he’s dead!!!!!!!!
      Stop being hypocrite when your loved ones are out there in a life of crime. Try to guide them in the right direction before it is too late.
      It is an unfortunate situation for all involved.

  45. alice clarke
    March 27, 2015

    I am glad it’s all over police need to realize we all make mistakes in life.

    • No Nonsense
      March 27, 2015

      A charge doesn’t mean a sentencing. I am personally glad that they got charged but that is just the first step. The next is the conviction.

  46. faceup
    March 27, 2015

    DNO I would like to see the pics of the defendants… No double standards here please, for you have posted other peoples pics who have been accused of other crimes..NEED TO SEE THE PICS OF THOSE BAD POLICE MEN… :)

    • u no who
      March 27, 2015

      Put ur pic up on dno as a fool who comments on news then u will see their pics on snow

      • faceup
        March 27, 2015

        @ u know who…So sorry I offended you :-D

  47. sen joe
    March 27, 2015

    I am not going to rejoice over the news but i am happy that they got charged with murder, but it not going n take five years, they going n be outside again.

  48. Trevor Fabien
    March 27, 2015

    Correction : police officers and not police pets. Apologies.

    Another question, why was that family not allowed into the court room? What else is going to be happening in this rather strange and topsy turvy country.

  49. Trevor Fabien
    March 27, 2015

    Hold up Hold up,5 police pets charged with murder are to be kept at the police barracks? Is that correct or a mistake on the part of DNO?
    Can someone please tell me that this is not happening and not real. This is the first time I’ve heard of such lunacy

    • real possie
      March 27, 2015

      That’s only because for now you can’t house them in the jail for now since they have to go through the trial.

    • Positive vibes
      March 27, 2015

      Unless the country has a security area designated at the state prison then keeping them at the barracks is logical. Let’s not read more into this than what’s actually taking place. The judicial system is working albeit slowly but working. Thx

      • mine
        March 28, 2015

        Becuase they are police officers they won’t put them with the other prisoners due to the fact that the other prisoners might hurt them.

    • winston warrington
      March 27, 2015

      Can,t you understand that they had not yet been charged until now?

    • THIRSTY FOOLS
      March 27, 2015

      how old are you?. if you were of a mature age you would know its customary to confine police who allegedly commit’s a crime at the police station known as barracks. they are law enforcement officers who are charged and are innocent until proven guilty. so immature one please educate yourself about certain policies in governmental departments before you make idiotic comments.

      • Lang Mama
        March 27, 2015

        Go tell that to officer Casey who was not held at the barracks but at stockfarm before his trial.

      • John Paul
        March 27, 2015

        Try telling that to the Family of the man who died in the cell for a couple rounds of ammo and possibly possession .they not only put him in the cell but beat him till he died

      • cassida
        March 28, 2015

        @thirsty fools – when all you know something all you like to show off. u really a thirst y fool

    • looking on
      March 28, 2015

      some of you are sooooo foolish it makes me cry for you.

    • mine
      March 28, 2015

      They keep them in barracks for safety reasons.

  50. derp
    March 27, 2015

    now is a good time to bring back the death penalty, you take a life (murder) you deserve to die

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