In an apparent major breakthrough, Police in Grenada have charged 20-year-old Trinidadian national, Isreal Farrel, for the fatal Carnival Monday shooting incident in the upscale Egmont community that claimed the life of 30-year-old Delvon Thomas.
Slapped with a charge of Capital Murder, Farrel appeared unrepresented at the St. George’s No.1 Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where he was remanded to the Richmond Hill Prisons until December 19, 2023 by Chief Magistrate Francine Foster.
In a bulletin released on Thursday, the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) said: “Isreal Farrel, 20 years, Machine Operator, a Citizen of Trinidad and Tobago was arrested and charged by members of the Criminal Investigation Department, with Capital Murder, in connection with the death of Delvon Thomas of Carriacou.
“Additionally, Mr. Farrel was charged with four (4) counts of Attempted Capital Murder, two (2) counts of Possession of Illegal Firearms and two (2) counts of Possession of Ammunition in connection with two separate shooting incidents committed on August 14th, 2023, at Mt. Egmont, St. George, and November 20th, 2023, at Woburn, St. George.
“Mr Farrel appeared at the St. George’s Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday 29th November 2023, and was remanded to His Majesty’s Prisons. He is scheduled to return to court on December 19th, 2023.”
The murder suspect is one of two Trinidadians taken into custody during last week Friday’s house raid, which formed part of the RGPF’s 2023 Yuletide operation.
The other individual has been identified as Mac Anthony Warner, who has been charged for entering the state illegally.
Warner also appeared in court unrepresented on Wednesday before Magistrate Foster, who imposed a deportation order for his removal from the state.
Acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie had carefully guarded the identity of the murder suspect in announcing his apprehension at a press conference in St. George’s on Monday.
However, he did reveal that Farrel was arrested during a house raid in the northern parish of St. John last week Friday.
This development comes approximately three months after the fatal shooting incident at the luxurious home of Linton Wharwood that left Thomas dead and Wharwood injured.
The police had previously detained 22-year-old Woburn resident Yohance Charles, who is charged with abetment of capital murder, abetment to attempt to commit capital murder, possession of a controlled drug, and possession of ammunition.
Charles is alleged to have provided critical assistance to the “Hit Man” and a “second masked man,” who was believed to have used the Woburn Bay as a means to slip in and out of the country and back to Trinidad.
The breakthrough in the Mt. Egmont killing follows a concerning trend of increased gun violence and illegal firearms in the country.
During Monday’s press briefing, Commissioner McKenzie underscored the surge in gun-related incidents, which includes the September fatal shooting of St. Vincent national Dexter Chance, who was found sitting inside his vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds to his body in the vicinity of Woburn, St. George.
The police have not arrested anyone in connection with Chance’s death.
The island’s chief cop expressed concern about the surge in illegal firearms, with over 45 confiscated this year compared to 12 in 2022, emphasising the challenges in determining the impact on reducing firearms within society.
He said that while investigators have been able to “seize over 300% (illegal guns this year) compared to last year, the unfortunate thing is that we do not know for a fact whether these seizures lead to a reduction of firearms within our society” as the trafficking and illicit importation of firearms is becoming a “viable business now for some countries to export weapons to Grenada.”
Six out of the 18 homicides recorded so far for the year are gun-related.
Underlining law enforcement’s intensified efforts, Commissioner McKenzie noted that as recently as last week Saturday a police operation in the north of the island resulted in the seizure of five illegal firearms, and over 200 rounds of ammunition.
The suspect in this case is 34-year old Eyssen Joseph of River Sallee in the St. Patrick East constituency. He was granted bail on Tuesday when he appeared at the St David’s Magistrate’s court.
The sitting Magistrate Sabina Gibbs has come in for heavy criticism from the public for granting bail to someone arrested with such a large amount of illegal guns and ammunition in their possession.
A senior barrister told THE NEW TODAY that the Magistrate should have turned down the bail request from attorney Peter David and given him the option of approaching a high court judge in Chambers for it.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Isreal Farrel was remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison until April 8, 2024. Isreal Farrel has been remanded until December 19th, 2023.