Police officer walks free in Joshua Etienne murder case; three to stand trial

courtThe court has ruled that the State was unable to produce evidence to establish a prima facie case against police constable Orlan Vigille and so has dismissed a charge of murder against him in the death of Joshua Etienne.

But that is not the case for constables Martin Seaman, Devin Challenger and woman police corporal, Jemma Louis. The court has ruled that the State was able to establish a prima facie case against the three officers in the matter and they are to stand trial for murder.

According to the dictionary, in legal practice prima facie is a term generally used to describe two things: the presentation of sufficient evidence by a civil claimant to support the legal claim (a prima facie case), or a piece of evidence itself (prima facie evidence).

Etienne was found dead in police cells in Portsmouth on July 4, 2014, one day after he was arrested for alleged ammunition possession.

An autopsy on his body revealed serious injuries including several broken bones and a punctured organ, among others.

Before handing down his decision before a packed Portsmouth Magistrate’s court on Monday, June 6, 2016, Magistrate Arley Gill briefly recounted some of the evidence adduced by the prosecution. He stated also that his task was to find out if there was a prima facie case against the accused and was not to determine their innocence or guilt.

Zena Moore Dyer, defense counsel for the accused, had argued that there was no case for her clients to answer and submitted a “no case submission”.

But the State led by Sherma Dyrample said the evidence produced by the State was strong and the State had a good case against them.

In his ruling on the matter, Magistrate Gill said that there was no evidence that Vigille took part or did anything and was satisfied that evidence presented did not link him to the matter.

“He was merely the driver under the supervision of his superiors. Like the High Court I have found no evidence to link him to the incident, there is no prima facie case against you…you are discharged and free to go,” he told Vigille.

Vigille was on bail in the sum of $150,000 ordered by High Court Judge Errol Thomas in April 2015.

Bail is closed for constables Seaman, Challenger and Louis and they are on remand at the state prison in Stock Farm.

The matter has been adjourned to June 21, 2016 at 9:00 am to deal with committal to stand trial for murder.

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  1. Ackie
    June 7, 2016

    My boy thank God he was with you from the beginning and he will never leave you stay blind to the haters they are not important.

  2. Ackie
    June 7, 2016

    You doesn’t see is police they busy to arrest and investigate these days and deny bail too bloody fool.

  3. NUWP
    June 7, 2016

    so why did the state held him in custody for so long? but again that’s how it works. if I were you bro I would just take sick leave and after say good bye to the force. because you wont be able to function effectively unless you a professional.

    but its unfortunate for you. but its how the law is again. you at the helm so you had to give an account. but the police couldn’t prove you were involved so you are free bro.

    go take a good chill pill and enjoy the rest of you life brother on peace.

  4. Face the Facts
    June 6, 2016

    It is unfortunate the man’s arrest came to that. All sides will plead their case. We will know the result soon enough.
    Police officers receive training on how to handle these people. I realize, your job especially in this era is not an easy one. There are some people who are quick to shout police brutality and lodge complaints against the police.
    My advice and/or suggestion is, when perpetrators are arrested, they should be handcuffed. These have no scruples. They usually become aggressive, violent and try to resist arrest, even utilizing profane language to the police officers.
    Beware how you handle them. Keep as calm and quiet as possible. Do your utmost not to respond to their insults. Do not, hit/beat and touch them, the latter, aside from placing handcuffs and leg shackles. It may be necessary to keep them handcuffed and in leg shackles so as to avoid being harmed by them.
    Utilize a camera to record communication/incidents while in their presence.

  5. June 6, 2016

    joshua etienne was a human being found dead and massacred in the police cell.. we should not be for or against the police or joshua but fot justice. justice and equal rights brings peace and healing.

  6. mine
    June 6, 2016

    Gods knows the truth who ever killed this guy should be punish.

  7. June 6, 2016

    There are no winners here, Sadly the interpretation of the laws are what our country are guided bye.

    • Unfortunately there are those in the public who carry a bias against the police and would not be happy with a judge ruling in an officer’s favor regardless of how unconvincing the case was against him.

      At a glance one can tell this was not a simple case to rule on. Sometimes when I am following a case I am thankful I am not the judge. It is sad of course that a life was lost. I hope we will all pray that the grace of God will be extended to each of these officers.

      Constable Orland Vigille will be judged again in the court of human opinion because not everybody will accept the verdict. He has decisions to make regarding his life and career. May God guide his steps.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.


  8. The Youth
    June 6, 2016

    wellllll…. that is to show u!!! the system is supporting this…. put the shoe on the other foot we all know wat the result is>>>>>>>

  9. Peter tosh
    June 6, 2016

    Vigliie am so happy for you. This is your friend who likes seeing that necklace in your neck…

  10. Roots
    June 6, 2016

    Don’t forget, someone lost his life.

    • indira Ghandi
      June 6, 2016

      This is just painful on all sides.
      All i can say is Lord, have mercy

    • “Don’t forget, somebody lost his life.”

      This is more important than who is tried and who got off.

      Long after the trial is over this pain will remain.

      Please pray for the loved ones of the victim. Especially, the loved ones of the victim. But also pray for the officers involved and their families.

      There is a time to let go of the blame. There is a time to heal.

      I was not close enough to know the details of the case. But those who do know what happened cannot change anything now. They may be able to learn something beneficial by asking “How can we prevent something like this from happening again?”

      Let those who can offer kind constructive comments. But avoid saying anything hurtful because there is enough pain.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  11. Big mouth
    June 6, 2016

    From day one the lawyers representing the state should have realized that this young man was innocent and he was merely following instructions from those above him . Now that he is free I hope his lawyers can properly representing him and file a lawsuit against the state for wrongful imprisonment. I hope he was getting paid while the investigation was taking place.If not then there goes another case for his lawyers. I believe we drag these cases for too long while the innocent suffer.

  12. Jerry
    June 6, 2016

    To God be the glory. Orlan go home and rest for the Lord has answer ur prays.

    • Food for thought
      June 6, 2016

      If he wasn’t a police officer this would be a different story. #AccessoryToMurder more specifically #AccessoryDURINGtheFact. He not only saw a crime taken place and didn’t do anything about it but he helped facilitate this heinous act against another human being. Not forgetting the
      oath he took to protect and also to prevent crimes from happening.
      This makes u wonder was this his first time acting in this position. How many other similar crimes have he helped to be committed in like manner….

      • labourpower
        June 6, 2016

        stupess food for thought

      • Me
        June 6, 2016


      • ATKINSON
        June 7, 2016

        Yea If he wasn’t a police officer he would never been arrested

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