Moments after observing 34 years of political independence, Grenada was rocked by two murders which occurred within a 22-hour time span.
The first one happened at about 11:00 p.m. just as a village blocko in New Hampshire, St. George¹s was concluding on Independence night, February 7.
Twenty-two hours later the second murder took place at Black Bay, St. John¹s at about 9:00 p.m. on February 8.
Dead are Ian Whiteman of New Hampshire, and Anthony Audley Frederick of Black Bay.
Frederick, a 58-year old operator of a mini-mart in St. John¹s known as All Class Shopping Centre, died as a result of a single shot to the chest that he received when two bandits staged an armed robbery on his supermarket.
Police were able to apprehend the two bandits and another suspect within hours of the fatal shooting.
Acting on a tip-off from a neighbour who saw when the bandits sped away from the scene in a car parked a few yards away from the supermarket, the police moved into Beausejour and spotted the vehicle, a Nissan through its registered number, PV811.
The driver (Kenny Morain) who was known to law enforcement officers was apprehended a few yards away from the vehicle and taken to the Gouyave Police Station for questioning.
Based on further information obtained, the lawmen were able to pick up the two other persons (Albert Griffith and Che Phillip) to assist them in their investigations.
One of the suspected bandits (Phillip) has been identified as a young man who was born in the vicinity of the supermarket.
GRENADA TODAY was told that the gun allegedly used in the shooting was also recovered by the police. Griffith is suspected to be the triggerman in the shooting.
Frederick, the deceased businessman also operated a mini bus, ³People¹s Choice,² that ply the Gouyave to St. George¹s route.
There are reports that he attempted to intervene when the two bandits with masks over their heads attacked the mini mart and asked the cashier to hand over the money.
An eyewitness told this newspaper that a customer who was inside of the business place at the time tried to accost one of the bandits who was carrying the lone gun that was used in the onslaught.
Frederick who was in another room became aware of the robbery and came out only to be shot by the gun man who turned the gun on him instead.
The injured man was rushed to the hospital by a neighbour who turned out to be the brother of one of the suspected bandits (Che Phillip).
The three accused – Kenny Morain Braveboy, Albert Griffith and Che Phillip – made their first court appearance, unrepresented, at the Gouyave Magistrate¹s Court on Tuesday.
They were all remanded to custody at the Richmond Hill Prison, to return to court on March 3.
Phillip is a 26 years old man presently residing at Grand Anse Valley in St. George’s, while Braveboy is a 34 year old resident of Beausejour, St. George’s, and 26-year old Griffith hails from Grenville Vale, St. George’s.
Information obtained by GRENADA TODAY reveal that Phillip is a criminal deportee from the United States while Morain returned home after living for sometime in England.
Apart from the murder charge, the police have slapped the trio with an additional charge of robbery with violence.
Commissioner of Police, Winston James and the investigating officers have thanked the Black Bay community for their prompt assistance in providing reliable information that led to the apprehension of the key suspects within minutes of the incident.
James was quoted as saying in an official police bulletin that the positive role of the community cannot be down played or taken for granted in this matter.
³With such levels of cooperation with the Police and the Community, Grenada would be a very safe place, the Commissioner added.
In the New Hampshire incident, 30-year old Whiteman died as a result of stab wounds he received from an apparatus of an AK Rifle to the upper left side of his back by Eugene Bartholomew, alias Scabby.
A mason by profession, Whiteman left his house to obtain a movie in the village.
On his way to collect the movie he was informed about an altercation that was taking place between his younger brother, Nielon Whiteman and the murder accused inside of the shop which he operates.
An eyewitness to the incident told GRENADA TODAY that the murder victim pulled out his younger brother from inside of the shop and the younger Whiteman is alleged to have pelted an object inside of the shop which broke a bottle of drink on the shelf.
The altercation intensified between the two men during which time they both sustained stab wounds. Whiteman then fled the scene.
According to the eyewitness, while all this was taking place the older brother walked away and the other one directly involved in the conflict ran away from the scene.
Scabby then reportedly came after Whiteman and inflicted the fatal stab wounds to him.
An eyewitnesses told this newspaper that he heard Scabby saying: ³You see what your brother do (did to) me…²
Whiteman allegedly told Scabby he did not want to have anything to do with him (Scabby) and his brother¹s business, and that he is not taking part because he has his three children to look after.
The father of thee (one six years old, another three and the other almost two-years) apparently decided against going for the movie and started to walk back to his home when he was then attacked by Scabby.
The murder accused was then quoted as saying: ³You (are) not taking part in me and your brother¹s business, a brother is a brother, the yam is the soup.².