The two Corentyne cambio robbery suspects appeared before two separate Berbice Magistrates and were slapped with 10 charges.
Curt Batson, 20, and 19-year-old Kelvin Bates, made their first court appearance at the Reliance Magistrate’s Court to answer to six robbery under arms charges, one attempted murder charge, and one charge each for the possession of arms and ammunition and a possession of narcotic for the purpose of trafficking charge.
However, Magistrate Melissa Mettelholzer recused herself from the matter pointing out that the father of one of the Virtual Complainants appeared on a television station in Berbice accusing her of placing one of the two accused on bail because she was probably accepting favours.
Police Prosecutor, Corporal Orin Joseph however did not object to the Magistrate initially reading the charges to the two defendants.
Curt Batson is accused of robbing Parsram Sookraj of $315,000 and two cellular phones valued $19,000. He is also accused of robbing Anil Sookraj of $500,000. Both robberies are said to have been committed on May 9. Kelvin Bates also faces similar charges against the defendants.
Both Batson and Bates were not required to plea to the indictable charges.
Batson is also accused of having in his possession 15 grams of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking. It is also alleged that on May 9, he also had in his possession a .23 firearm without being the holder of a valid firearm licence. It is also alleged that he had five matching rounds without being the holder of a valid licence.
He pleaded not guilty to the trafficking in narcotics charge.
Batson, who was shackled, remained in the docks as the Magistrate read two other charges to him, which stated that on April 30, while in the company of others and being armed with a handgun at Rose Hall, he robbed Vanisha Shrikisson of $1,000,027, $112,000 worth in phone cards and $130,000 worth in jewellery.
On the same day, it also alleged that he shot and wounded Samuel Fernandez with the intent to commit murder. Batson was not required to plea to those charges.
Prosecutor Joseph told the court that Fernandez was still hospitalised and in a critical condition. He said since the alleged incident, Bates has made several threats of bodily harm to Shrikisson. He noted that if granted bail, there is a high chance the defendant might act on those threats.
Joseph also sighted Section 44 of the Ammunition Act, requesting that bail be refused.
He also told the court that Bates had been released on bail on another robbery under arms charge when it is alleged that he committed the three robberies. Both men were refused bail. Magistrate Mettelholzer said she was sending all of the matters to the Chief Magistrate to be reassigned.
Meanwhile, Bates was also taken to the Whim Magistrate’s Court where we appeared before Magistrate Carolyn Artiga to answer a charge of larceny from the person. He was also refused bail and will have to return to court on May 30.
Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Ian Amsterdam has confirmed Bates was recently pardoned by President David Granger and released from prison.