UPDATE: Court frees man charged with murder

Charles was freed on Friday morning

 

Charles with attorney Wayne Norde (right)

A man who was charged with murder was freed by the High Court on Friday morning.

Vivian Charles from Morne Prosper was charged with the murder of Richard Roy Lazarus of Trafalgar on February 18, 2013.

He was freed since the matter was done via paper committal and his attorney and the accused did not get an opportunity to cross-examine the pathologist who is out of state and is terminally ill.

Charles has been in custody for the last four years and was represented by Wayne Norde.

Lazarus’ body was, discovered about 30 feet in the bushes from the main road at Providence, in the vicinity of Lauda at about 3:00 pm on February 13th, 2013. There were multiple injuries on the body when it was found.

Norde believes that the onus is now on the legislators to do what is right in order to avoid a repetition of what happened in the murder matter.

Charles who had been on remand since 2013 for murder Lazarus walked out of court today March 10, 2017 a free man after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) discontinued his matter on a procedural ground after the State was unable to get the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the body of the deceased, to come to testify at the murder trial.

Norde said that given what has been going on re the non-appearance of pathologist in Dominica, the State needs to do certain things in law to correct such matters.

“There are certain things in law which can be done and as the Judge said in open court, the law needs to be amended…as in other jurisdiction, the law is different and the pathologist report can be tendered. So the message is simple, the legislators need to amend the law to make it easier for the medical evidence to be admitted even in the absence of the pathologist,” the lawyer said.

He explained that the DPP, on the basis that the pathologist was absent and the matter was done via paper committal and the accused did not get a chance to cross-examine her in the magistrate’s court had no choice, but to “discontinue the matter.”

“Her report which the State relies on as crucial evidence could not be tendered. It’s been four years and I have been making noise about this matter. The DPP kept saying that they will bring the pathologist but she never came and the matter kept on being adjourned…so today they were left with no choice but to discontinue the matter,” Norde remarked.

Charles, express his gratitude to his lawyer Norde for what he said was ” a job well done.”

“I feel very great and comfortable and I appreciate the way that my lawyer worked for me and today I am a free man. Right now I want to better myself, things that pass before are gone. I want to advise people to stay away from trouble and prison…it is not a good place to be at all,” he said.

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60 Comments

  1. jack
    March 1, 2018

    This is another example of how power the collection and preservation of evidence continue to destroy the government murder cases in Dominica. The DPP can always retried the case again. First the court should be notified that the defendant can be re-tried again once the pathologist is available. Because murder cases has no statue of limitation, but the question is why do the government continue loosing murder cases in Dominica. I am looking for a position as a DPP WILL THE GOVERNMENT please contact me at my email address. I think the DPP lack the tolls needed to better prepare for the presentation of murder cases I can help contact me.

  2. March 21, 2017

    With all the technology that is available today could the pathologist not be cross examined by phone, online, or via television :?:

    Could another pathologist not have been employed :?:

    I wonder at this pathologist being engaged, or even accepting the case knowing his condition. Of all people the doctor should have known his condition well enough to know he might not be available for the trial.

    A trial like this touches on the well being of the public. Justice has not been done.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  3. Elsa Royer: the purpose of a Grand-Jury, is to sit in a hearing and listen to evidence presented to a court to see if there is enough evidence to charge someone with a crime. Mind you whoever is targeted are not yet charged with a crime, until they are indicted by the grand jury.

    Definition: meaning to be charged with a crime by the finding, or presentment of a jury such as a grand jury in due form of law. I know this for a fact because I sat on a grand jury, in the past, and I also sat on the regular jury:

    That is slightly different to a body of persons legally selected, which I also sat on: and sworn to inquire into any matter of fact and to give their verdict according to the evidence. In this case that jury would be dealing with an matter in which a culprit was already charged. The case in question, did not require an indictment, he was charged with murder, just because one becomes demented or terminally ill I do not believe that should be grounds to set a murderer free…

    • Continue:

      The case in question, did not require an indictment, he was charged with murder, just because one becomes demented or terminally ill I do not believe that should be grounds to set a murderer free.

      The case should be judged based on the evidence already presented to the court! I cannot see the big deal talking crap about pathologists: How relevant could his opinions be in order to convict or free a murder. When people are talking about a pathologists we are simply talking about a specialist in pathology. So here is what its all about.

      Pathology is simply the branch of medicine treating of the essential nature of disease, especially of the changes in body tissues, and organs which cause or are caused by disease, and secondly the structural, and functional manifestations of a disease. Well, Francisco is a fool eh; I I is a idiot who doh know much eh!

      However; it is my opinion that unless the pathologists was going to testify that the victim died from natural…

  4. anonymous2
    March 11, 2017

    Very few criminals very pay for the crimes that they commit on this island.

  5. mine
    March 11, 2017

    So because the pathologist is ill he gets away with murder? Where is the report? what a shame.

  6. ??????.....
    March 11, 2017

    At the most, he has given a good advice to others to stay away from trouble and prison. He has learnt a long and hard lesson. Shirt happens. Not one of us was there so we cannot judge. We cannot say what ensued between those two. Only God knows and he will judge rightly at the judgement. We should learn ourselves from such experiences of others.

  7. ??????.....
    March 11, 2017

    People judging but only God know the heart. Those who do do not believe in God, cannot understand anything and are blind for he has made them blind. A lot of blind persons walking and not thinking of the bigger one who created us. You are all experts in everything, judging and all the likes. It is a good thing that God is one of love, he sent his son to die for forgiveness of sins and he forgives. Some of you are hurting because of unforgiveness in their heart. Do not try to be expert in what you do not understand. Anyone who has not made a mistake in life…. lift your hands. All we can wish the young that he surely reverence God and make the best of his second chance. We are in no position to judge. Very sad though that the other man lost his life. But we were not there but God knows everything.

  8. rasta
    March 11, 2017

    Have anyone seen the movies: The good, the bad and the ugly, Dirty harry, Trinity?? Welcome to the WEST.
    Dominica for real???? The Country nice boy!!!! When GON Emmanuel house was fire bombed, we remained silent, when the police in canefield had a similar incident, we remained silent, when the towers a Melvillehall was burned down, we remained silent, the recent incident in Roseau all MOU MOU spoke because it was leaning toward UWP. Millions of dollars are being spent yet the GOD of D.A don’t see the need to have more than one pathologist.This will soon knock at our doors and I wonder who will speak for us?
    God bless the wise among us!!

  9. nonsense
    March 11, 2017

    stupes once u take a life either life in prison or hang or stone to death

  10. non ya business
    March 11, 2017

    So Wayne Norde and his band of goons feel no way in releasing criminals on our streets. Good luck sir, I hope you live in gilded gates. The **** will eventually spill into your yard.

  11. March 11, 2017

    What I am reading here, is that it is only the Pathologist report that could have made a difference in the outcome of this case.?The Police ? investigation did not produce enough evidence for a conviction?

  12. Zor Bon La
    March 11, 2017

    I heard that he is thankful to his Lawyer. I did not hear him profess his innocence. That will be between you and your God. If you are guilty, I hope you can live with yourself. On the flip side, it is amazing how many people accused of taking a life, are freed by a non-existent justice system. Shame.

  13. mine
    March 10, 2017

    To me he is not free because if he killed this guy his hands are covered with his blood and is a murdered for the rest of his life. HE was robbed twiced his life and justice, May he rest in peace.

    • mine
      March 11, 2017

      typo, murderer for the rest of his life if he did killed thid man.

  14. Let The Truth Be Told - Original
    March 10, 2017

    Did the absentee, terminally ill pathologist not file a report? This report should not be ignored but should stand. Let us say, without wishing, if the pathologist died would he have been set free?
    Freeing him on that basis does not exonerate him from murder. Nothing can erase that. This is something he will have as a noose around his neck, on his life forever.
    Murderers are to be feared. Frankly, I would fear that man and not associate with him.
    Let us see how well he will assimilate in the D/can society without any fracas.
    Words are not enough. His words do not mean much. I would think he needs the grace of God to be forgiven, if he asks for it and to stay away from trouble. I hope he seeks the Face of God and asks Him for forgiveness. The condition is that he has to genuinely worship God with a humble and contrite heart, in prayer and to make penance and sacrifice as a means of atonement to God who cannot be deceived with mere words.

  15. Teddy's girl
    March 10, 2017

    Was the pathologist’s report written in Aramaic? Could it not be read into evidence? Is the pathologist report necessary to answer the question “who did it?” That is foolishness. A pathologist report cannot point to an accused, only the cause of death.

  16. March 10, 2017

    shame on the DPP. the DPP is more lazy than the police for freeing a man who is guilty because of pathology report. stupid nonesence. Vivian Charles you are free by the court but not free by the God Almighty. Mr Norde this is not a win for you. foolish police and foolish DPP.

  17. March 10, 2017

    Very sad, two families are Hurt, There are no winners here, despite the fact accused was set free, and the victim is Dead! Freedom for the accused, at a cost that might hit his concience for the rest of his life. Pray for all involved.

    • DARK NIGHT
      March 11, 2017

      ……. if the accused feels so badly he should just confess and don’t waste the court time. the only winner here is the accused. the deceased have not found jusstice.

  18. “He was freed since the matter was done via paper committal and his attorney and the accused did not get an opportunity to cross-examine the pathologist who is out of state and is terminally ill.”

    So, what we have here is a murderer walks free on a technicality! Only in Dominica we have that sort of thing where criminals murder people and get off free.

    If someone kill once, they have the potential to kill again, don’t be surprised if that man kills again!

    • Amend this law
      March 11, 2017

      I agree 100%!!!! And even more so are the implications of this pathologist being terminally ill; it therefore means that every murder case he would have testified on will now be dismissed because he is dying and unable to testify!!! Lord have Mercy on us!!! Also lawyers with murder cases where this pathologist would have testified are now going to rush these cases to be called so they too can be dismissed!!!! Therefore this law MUST BE AMENDED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to end this injustice and vigilante justice!!!!!

    • Elsa Royer
      March 11, 2017

      Actually no…not only in Dominica. Right here in the United States there is no way in hell that case would get past a grand jury. Remember he does not have to prove he is innocent. The court however must prove that he is guilty. Obviously they cant.

    • Rowrowbaby
      March 11, 2017

      Then I guess when he kills again they will figure it out on a technicality. So sad.

    • BEB
      March 11, 2017

      This is one time I will agree with u

  19. March 10, 2017

    I have never seen or heard this nonsense before, what the hell is going on here ? this is a pa pee show , a kangaroo court, is that what our judicial system has become?. this nonsense is call catch , and release , so now he got away with murder, free to kill again while the Judges, lawyers medical examiners , who are being paid by the taxes payers suffer, what a tangle web we weave .

    • Let The Truth Be Told - Original
      March 10, 2017

      Dominicans should know, is he truly sorry for having murdered the man? It appears no condition was set for his release except that the pathologist is terminally ill and not available. It makes no sense. He should have been tried based on the pathologist’s report.

    • anonymous2
      March 11, 2017

      If you live here, you ought to know that this thing is very common. The place is hopeless under the present regime.

    • Boy, let me tell you something about our country; a rapists raped, and kill a little girl, the FBI found his sperm on the child, they analyze his DNA, found that he is the one who raped the child and kill her.

      Some dumb lawyer went into court, and told another dumb judge that DNA evidence in not reliable, not good, the idiot judge agreed with him, and set the murderer free you know.

      That took place in Dominica you know!

      About five years or less ago, a guy in Carnival stabbed a victim, while in the act of committing the offense, he was video tape on a cell phone, that evidence was presented in Court in Dominica, and a woman magistrate decided to let the culprit walk stating the seeing the perpetrator stabbing his victim recorded on the phone is not admissible evidence in Dominica you know!

      However if someone goes into court and lie, and say they saw someone doing something they send the innocent to jail on they say you know.

      The guy who stabbed the victim, I believe…

  20. UDOHREADYET
    March 10, 2017

    It seems all these people are missing the point… the reason he cannot be convicted is becasue Dominica does not have the specialist it needs (Pathologist) on the Island to perform such duties and testify based on the duties he or she performed.

    The government cannot force people to go to school and specialize in this subject matter.

    Everyone just like to follow the other and do what other people do instead of filling in the gaps in society that are missing.

    • Being Honest
      March 10, 2017

      @UDOREADYET
      Since you appear to be so brilliant, why don’t you go specialize in Pathology? Be a trailblazer.

    • Floridian Diaspora
      March 10, 2017

      There’s one gap that needs to be filled for sure. It’s called a prime minister’s position. The one we have now is a total waste

    • Cowboy
      March 10, 2017

      This is not at all about lack of pathologist expertise. This is about incompetence in our judicial system which can’t even update an obvious deficiency in the law in order to allow evidence to be shown that is not dependent on the PHYSICAL presence of the pathologist. The lack of professionalism and professional competence in serious matters such as this is breathtaking.

    • BEB
      March 11, 2017

      This is sad, the Govt. should put things in pace for when ever a pathologist performs an autopsy and is out off the country, his/her report should beable to be read in court as evidence . 4 yrs. after a crime was committed is too long for that matter to be tried.

  21. OMG
    March 10, 2017

    Richard never looked anyone problems. that’s very said…smh RIP richard ah boy!

  22. former in law
    March 10, 2017

    dominica court system is full sh–.just a waste of time

  23. keepingitreal
    March 10, 2017

    There are more bananas in our court system than in our whole agriculture sector x

  24. Not a herd follower
    March 10, 2017

    SMFH. Dominica is a FAILED STATE, People.

  25. Observer
    March 10, 2017

    So in other words, since he was found not guilty, we have a killer walking the streets then??

  26. Marcus Hill
    March 10, 2017

    My sympathies to the family of the deceased. It must be tough to see that no one will be punished for his murder.

  27. March 10, 2017

    Where are we heading to in little Dominica? Free to kill, free to welcome foreign thieves, free to hide criminals, free to commit fraud while you are in office…question yourself in Dominica because the precipice isn’t far; while we are going head down.Jah helps us.The gov’t refuses to react because there are three fingers pointing at them…This has to stop.

    • NUWPl
      March 10, 2017

      Free to riot and not yet arrested. Free to lie on ppl and get the public to pay. Free to go st Kitts for money with two former opposition leaders and can’t give an account to the people on where the money. Free to thief DAAS money and still be confirmed candidate in our election and free to call for the hijacking of the prime minister son an call for the killing of the pm an still free. So in dis where are we heading? U right. Only under this blessed PM. Under miss Charles long someone in jail. Even under Edison long ur family victimised. But provoke the peace still. Hope wen layou river start to come down with its retaliation u all can stand it.

    • %
      March 10, 2017

      @c barry I STRONGLY CONCUR!!!

  28. Jonathan St Jean
    March 10, 2017

    Sounds to me that the criminal justice system in Dominica is dysfunctional.This is indicative of a culture created by a dysfunctional government leader.Wonder when will it end

  29. Titiwi
    March 10, 2017

    It takes four years to get this verdict?I do not profess to know whether this man committed murder as originally charged but to keep him incarcerated for this length of time awaiting trial is a travesty in itself. His life is ruined also and who is going to compensate him for that?
    Our justice system needs mending badly.

    • me
      March 10, 2017

      come on. He ha life. The other person is dead.

      • Titiwi
        March 10, 2017

        Our laws says that you are innocent till and unless you are proved, guilty, does not matter what we think individually. So really, if you are on remand waiting for your case you are innocent under the law.

    • Again
      March 10, 2017

      His live is not ruin, he will be among others pretending he has never committed a crime. And the first thing that comes out of there mouths when they encounter an altercation with another is “I doh fraid you, I kill man alread” We see this everyday in Dominica, such rubish.

      • Again
        March 10, 2017

        Correction to my Typos:

        His life is not ruin, he will be among others pretending he has never committed a crime. And the first thing that comes out of there mouths whenever they encounter an altercation with another is “I doh fraid you, I kill man already” We see this everyday in Dominica, such rubbish.

      • Professor
        March 10, 2017

        Please allow me to help you.
        His life is not ruined. He will be amongst others, pretending he never committed a crime. The first thing that comes out of their mouths when they encounter an altercation with another is, ” I doh fraid you, I kill man already.” We see this everyday in Dominica, such rubbish.

    • Just Thinking
      March 10, 2017

      Are you serious? Compensate him for murdering someone.!!!! What about the victim’s life he took. He is only getting off the hook because the Pathologist is terminally ill and cannot present the medical report.

    • BEB
      March 11, 2017

      Go on advise him to sue the Govt. for his incarceration , don’t u think that he is glad the way it turned out?

  30. papa
    March 10, 2017

    Sue the government and the police that arrested u

    • televangelists are false prophets
      March 10, 2017

      yup.

    • non ya business
      March 11, 2017

      ha!!! that one sound like a uwpwe encouraging more discord in this beautiful land. sue “de” government, the government is the people, the tax payers, yourself, hmm unless you don’t pay any taxes, perhaps an unemployed wanna be politician. go to hell man. this guy got away on a technicality, the next time we see him it will be after he kill or seriously hurt someone else. one thing we know about those who kill and get away with it like this is that they often repeat the crime being emboldened by their bold escape of the justice system.

  31. Da4real
    March 10, 2017

    Here we go again.. The land where murders are acquitted and petty thieves are imprisoned for years. Where is the justice?

  32. %
    March 10, 2017

    Thats not a surprise in Dominica…Personally i believe that the more corrupt a country is,the weaker is its justice system.

  33. March 10, 2017

    This looks a lot like the image of Emmanuel Azille and the same Wayne Norde some years ago. I just wish you the best and please make great use of your second opportunity. That is if you are not retried.

  34. DT
    March 10, 2017

    Do you that’s justice, just because one of the participants is terminally ill what about justice for the victim and his family.

    • Austin Lazarus
      March 10, 2017

      Thanks a lot.. I was my father’s only son and learning that he was murdered so savagely by the accused above made me very angry and emotional. Although my father and I was not that close, it still hurt me. Now seeing this… I just don’t know what to say, but I’m not going to take this lightly…

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