A 12-member jury has been empanelled as the murder trial involving St. Paul’s resident Ricardo Edgar, also known as ‘Spanish,’ who was implicated in connection with the March 2018 shooting death of Shaniel Blackman also known as ‘Shizzle,’ got underway at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court on Monday.
Senior Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution Howard Pinnock is leading the State’s case against the murder accused.
Pinnock is expected to call the first in a list of 12 witnesses to give evidence in the matter, which is expected to resume before Justice Gilford at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court next week Tuesday.
Blackman was shot in an area close to where he lived in Belmont, St. George, with a female friend, and was taken to the St. George’s General hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to reports, a number of used bullet shells were recovered on the scene, an indication that several rounds were discharged during the fatal shooting.
Several individuals were picked up within days for questioning in connection with the incident but police were not able to make an arrest until two-years later in May 2020, approximately one month after a Homicide Task Force was established within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to investigate unsolved murder cases.
Edgar, a resident of St. Paul’s, was 33-years-old when he was arrested and charged with the offenses of Non-Capital Murder, illegal possession of firearm and illegal possession of ammunition, in connection with Blackman’s death.
The now 35-year-old murder suspect, who was employed as a maintenance worker prior to his arrest, has retained the services of American-trained Attorney Jerry Edwin to assist with his defense in the matter.
Underworld figures had branded Blackman’s execution as drug related from a deal that apparently went sour with drug pushers from neighbouring St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
Reports circulating at the time were that weeks before being shot to death, Blackman had narrowly escaped death after being shot during a chase and exchange of gunfire on the high seas with Vincentians but managed to get away and make his way back into St. George’s.
The shooting incident took place around the time of the holding of the March 13, 2018 general election.
According to underworld figures, Blackman had used the cover of the election when the lawmen’s attention was focused inwards to venture out at sea to collect drugs, and “tricked” his Vincentian suppliers with some false currency in exchange for “the illegal goods.”
The underworld figures claimed that a contract was put on Blackman’s head by the Vincentians and within days he was shot and killed.