Two men charged and bailed in manslaughter case, police in search of others

Dwight Adrien Carlton

Local entertainer Kenny “Kenny G” Jno Baptiste along with Kent Lestrade are now on a $100,000.00 bail each, following their appearance at the Roseau Magistrate court yesterday where a charge of manslaughter was read to them.

According to the charge preferred by the police, it is alleged that “on October 10, 2021, at Roseau, Jno Baptiste and Lestrade both of Cork Street, Roseau, did unlawfully kill 21-year-old Dwight Adrian Cartlon of Bath Estate.”

Since manslaughter is an indictable offense–expected to be heard at the High Court before a Judge and jury– the accused were not required to enter a plea.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred on the aforementioned date during the passage of a trough system and in a video that went viral, showed a young man battling the raging waters of the Roseau river.

It is alleged that Carlton, who suffered from mental illness, drove away with Jno Baptiste’s vehicle and later got into an accident.

Further reports claim that Carlton was then chased by Jno Baptiste and others who were armed with a dangerous weapon. In an attempt to escape the chase, Carlton is said to have jumped into the swollen river and to date, his body is yet to be discovered by the police despite an extensive search.

At the court hearing, Police Prosecutor, Inspector Davidson Cadette objected to bail, citing three reasons to the court.

His first ground for objection was based on the section 4 subsection 3 of the new bail act which states that any person charged with a serious offense or someone with previous conviction punishable by imprisonment, is not entitled to bail as a right unless this person satisfies the court that there is a just cause for doing so.

Inspector Cadette argued that both men are known to the court, convicted on matters of a serious nature.

Additionally, the Police Prosecutor stated that the alleged offense is grave and in the public interest, he requested that bail be withheld.

Cadette further revealed that the investigation in the matter is still ongoing and referred to as “fluid” as the investigating officers are in search of other persons reportedly involved in this case.

“We believe in pursuit of these individuals; it is germane that these two men not be granted bail at this time,” the Prosecutor pleaded with the court. “We understand the constitutional rights of the accused men standing before this court, however, we are asking the court to respectfully allow the prosecution at least three weeks so that we can continue the investigation and thereafter, they may be brought back here and a further application can be made for bail.”

However, one of the attorneys representing Jno Baptiste and Lestrade, Wayne Norde, debunked the prosecution’s grounds for objection to bail labeling them as “empty.”

He insisted that the nine days in which his clients were in custody should have been sufficient time for a thorough investigation and that ongoing investigations by the police are not grounds for objection as charges should only be laid after investigations are completed.

“Nowhere in the bail act says that bail should be refused or denied because police investigations are continuing. What the prosecution and the police must do is investigate and then arrest. You do not arrest someone, put them at Stockfarm, then you seek time; that is wrong and they are doing it back to front,” Norde declared.

The attorney further pointed out to the court that persons have been granted bail for more serious offenses such as murder and averred that manslaughter is a bailable offense in the Magistrate court and that the prosecutor was misguided in his reference to section 4 of the new bail act.

“I am happy that the prosecutor spoke about the constitution because it says that you are innocent until proven guilty, so the question that the court should bear in its mind is why does the prosecution want to keep these innocent men in custody and they have not yet been proven guilty, why?” Norde asked.

Another of the defendant’s attorneys, Kondwani Williams, argued that the purpose for bail is to secure the defendant’s attendance at the hearing but contended that the prosecution presented nothing which would prevent the defendants from showing up to court.

“Have there been any publication in the newspaper or other media platforms for the other individuals they are pursuing, nothing,” Williams stated. “We say to this court that these defendants should not be denied their liberty based on suspicion of possibility while the police look for some bases to sustain their charges. Under these circumstances, to remand these men would be to further punish them. The prosecution grounds are weak and they should not stand.”

Presiding Magistrate Hansel Valarie, in handing down his judgement, said that while he understands the position of the prosecution, the court operates under the umbrella of the bail act.

He noted that while a number of offences to include murder and treason are unbailable offenses according to the bail act, manslaughter is not on the list.

Theona and Ricky Joseph stood as sureties for Jno Baptiste while Brian Dequental is the surety for Lestrade.

As part of the bail conditions, the accused are to report to the Roseau Police Station twice weekly, Monday and Friday between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. They were also required to surrender all travel documents to the court and are prohibited from applying for new travel documents without first notifying the court.

Should they change their address, the accused men must notify the court and they were further ordered not to leave the jurisdiction of the court unless they first apply for and obtain permission to do so.

They are also prohibited from interfering with any of the prosecution’s witnesses.

The matter is adjourned to February 28, 2022, for preliminary inquiry where it will be determined if there is enough evidence for the matter to be tried at the High Court.

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15 Comments

  1. mine
    October 20, 2021

    I f they already had a rap sheet why give them bail. The bail for killing should be one million dollars so they would think twice before takings one life.

  2. Lin clown
    October 20, 2021

    IBO FRANCE,the JACKA you cannot arrest a man and charge him.The reason one is arrested is because he has committed an offence or a crime.JUDGES RULES if a DON KEY like you know what that is,CHARGE,ARREST and CAUTION.Before you touch the accused,the arresting officer MUST tell the accused the reason for his arrest.In policing there is a difference between DETENTION and ARREST.Linton did not understand the difference between MAY HAVE and MUST HAVE.One can be taken into custody by the police and not charged.A person can be charged and not arrested,but a person cannot be arrested and not charged,because he has to commit an offence or crime for him to be ARRESTED.Any police officer will tell you when one is told the is being arrested the first question is”What you arresting me for”

  3. Really?
    October 19, 2021

    Carnival Monday allu want to bring them man court? Big holiday. Who makes these decisions by the way? HAHA :lol: :lol: :lol:

  4. lmckoy
    October 19, 2021

    Is the police sufficiently trained to prosecute such an important case? Don’t be surprised if these accused get off free.

  5. Goodweed
    October 19, 2021

    So let me get this straight: someone steals and crashes your vehicle, you chase them down to beat that A..S (normal human behavior), the person jumps to their death and then the police arrest and charge you with a crime while they investigate to see if you actually committed a crime. LMAO

    • lmckoy
      October 19, 2021

      The person may have jumped but is he dead?

  6. Ibo France
    October 19, 2021

    Why is every entity that this government has influence over is dysfunctional or not properly staffed or does not have the requisite resources?

    I have a very serious problem with the present court system. There must be qualified and bona fide prosecutors to prosecute these cases. It’s a gross miscarriage of justice for the plaintiff or the aggrieved party when a police officer is put to prosecute a serious case and has to go against an erudite and experienced lawyer. This is like taking a stick to a gun fight.

    In this country there are no jobs, no proper healthcare, no adequate social safety net now no justice.

    In the UAE, just perhaps they could have easily advertise Dominica as a criminal paradise where international criminals go for refuge from the law. Where many criminals walk due to a poorly resourced justice system.

  7. dissident
    October 19, 2021

    Enough people see de video of dat evil!!!!
    Many of us know the character of the accused!!!
    Just because dem man get bail I personally think that de dead young man will NEVER get justice!
    I think that there will be interference in dat case.
    RIP young man!

  8. Lin clown
    October 19, 2021

    I agree with NORDE,he should sue the police for WRONGFUL ARREST.The police cannot arrest a man charge him and then investigate.Investigate,charge and arrest that is the procedure.Before someone is arrested he MUST be informed of the charges against him.According to the police,they are continuing to investigate the case,investigation is not complete,yet the men are arrested and charged ,for what?This police technique has been going on for a long time.These guys are being denied their rights and liberty.

    • Ibo France
      October 19, 2021

      Circus Clown, I thought by now you would have depleted your stock of nonsense that you write. That brain of yours laughs all night when you fall asleep just happy for the respite from your perpetual foolishness.

    • Toto
      October 20, 2021

      Clown you are not a lawyer. I am not a lawyer but I know very well that you can be arrested on suspicion of having committed a crime. Yes my man, that happens all the time.

  9. I dear
    October 19, 2021

    What can I say. During the last Election we all heard Melissa Skerrit, wife ofbPM Skerrit talking about Navy Seals and Snipers she had watching her back. The police heard her, the government heard her and the church heard her because she was very loud and boastful about her claim. Unfortunately no one investigated to see if we didn’t have a terror network growing in Dominica. To me it seems as if what I heard is clear that we have snippers, we have navy seals in Dominica and if we go back to the police report of that incident you will see that it was reported as the work of a terror network that the police tried to protect. I just hope that Kenny G or that other man involved in this alleged situation were not members of Melissa Skerrit navy seals gang that she herself told the nation about

    • My little take
      October 20, 2021

      Navy Seals and snipers have special training to do special tasks without being identified. Sadly only Melissa Skerrit seems to know the navy seals she said she has protecting her. No wonder the initial police report was so weak and bogus. Think of that: a man with a mental problem stole the car of a well known entertainer. The entertainer along with another person chased the mentally disturbed man. Somehow the man got off the car and ran towards a river, went on a bridge and jumped in a raging rough river. His body hasn’t been found but he is presumed dead. Well, Navy Seals and Snipers performed the funeral of Bin Laden on sea and nobody knows where he was buried. It’s a fact that the government, police and Navy Seals work as one in covering information.
      Did the police take fingerprints and other key ingredients of those that were arrested? Boy Dominica is in one big mess that we don’t even understand

  10. Toto
    October 19, 2021

    Oh no, not that Kenny G again, the self proclaimed bodyguard of Madame Pompadour. This bail will allow him time to interfere with possible witnesses that’s all I’m saying. I did not know the man was an artist, forgive my ignorance. This does not bring back Dwight though. It seems to me human life is valued according to your status in our country. Also where is Cock street in Roseau, I know Cork Street so perhaps this is an error.

  11. October 19, 2021

    To Admin:
    February 2021 is history. We are approaching 2022.

    ADMIN: Thank you the article has been updated.

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