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Murder accused remanded to prison

Javid Raymond – as he was escorted under heavy police presence Monday on the occasion of his first appearance at the St. George’s No.1 Magistrate’s Court

The public on Monday was able to get its first glimpse of 28-year old Javid Raymond, who was charged over the weekend by police in connection with the June murder of LGBT member Josiah “Jonty” Robinson whose body was discovered on the popular BBC beach in the south of the island.

The suspect who lives at Circular Drive in the Frequente area was brought to court under heavy police presence after he was charged with non-capital murder.

Raymond was represented in court by Attorney-at-law Peter David, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Francine Foster.

Due to the high-profile nature of the case, members of the media were not allowed inside the courtroom.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Raymond has been remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison until October 5, when he is scheduled to reappear in court for mention.

Raymond, who has been described as an “acquaintance” of the deceased was taken late Friday back to the crime scene by members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

Earlier, the unemployed man had issued a statement to investigators in which he claimed that “Jonty” died during a sexual encounter on the beach.

An autopsy report confirmed that there were signs of manual strangulation on Jonty’s body.

His death attracted significant public interest and international attention, with U.S celebrities Tyler Perry and the Grenadian-born Yvette Noel-Schure offering US$100,000 to anyone who provided information to the police that resulted in the arrest of the suspect.

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Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell also got involved and called for an approach to be made to the British Scotland Yard (the Metropolitan Police force, in London) or the United States-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (the lead federal law enforcement agency for investigating cyber attacks by criminals), to be brought in to help with the recent spate of unsolved murder cases on the island.

However, Officer in Charge of Crime in RGPF, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vannie Curwen expressed confidence in his team of investigators during a press conference in St. George’s last week.

“I do not think there is anything at this point that is beyond the resources (and) experience of our local police officers that we need to go outside,” ACP Curwen said.

However he quickly added that “no assistance is too much.”

Grenada has recorded 18 murders for the year so far.

Jonty’s murder is the second to be solve since changes were made to the CID with Superintendent of Police Esau Pierre being sent to take command approximately two (2) weeks ago, in a move intended to allow former Head, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ryan Hall to get more time to go on the ground to flush out the criminals.

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