Alston's Murder Accused Granted Legal Aid

BVI Platinum News | 0 Opinions
Published: July 11, 2017 2:11 pm AST
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Government’s Legal Aid Board has recently appointed N. R. Samuels & Co to represent Mr. Santo Yamarco Hernandez, 38, who is charged with the murder of Alston Penn.

Hernandez made his first appearance with his lawyer, Ms. Akilah Anderson, on Friday, July 7, at the Magistrate’s Court.

The matter will now proceed straight to Paper Committal, where the crown, along with the newly appointed lawyer, will present their cases to the court via written documents.

Hernandez will make another appearance on September 22, when the court will disclose whether or not enough evidence was presented against him to move the matter forward to the High Court.

In his last appearance on May 19, Hernandez informed the court that he was awaiting word from the Legal Aid Board, to get some assistance for the matter.

Hernandez denies being responsible of the death of Alston Penn, who was murdered March 10.

According to court records, the body of Penn was found around 5:20 am, face down on the Windy Hill road in a pool of blood. He reportedly sustained extensive head injuries. Two bloodied boulders were also found at the scene.

Following police investigations, the accused was linked to the murder by a long call log between him and the deceased, on the night he was killed. Police also retrieved CCTV footage, which showed Penn getting into a vehicle that Hernandez was driving on the same night.

In the first appearance of the matter, Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms. Kim Hollis, QC, who laid out the allegations, said that phone records were obtained for Penn's phone account from March 9 and 10. She said there was heavy traffic between the phone accounts belonging to Hernandez and Penn.

The phone records showed that Penn called the defendant 22 times on March 9, and then Hernandez later called Penn some 51 times. The final answered call was around 2:00 am on March 10.

Hollis, QC told the court that CCTV footage showed that Penn met with Hernandez hours before the murder. She said that the footage showed Penn getting into a vehicle, which was driven by Hernandez around 11:00 pm in the area of a gas station, a short distance from Penn's home in East End.

She said the defendant was apparently parked, waiting on Penn.

The DPP said that the same vehicle driven by the defendant was then seen around 3:30 am in the Joe's Hill area, not too far from where Penn's body was later found.

Meanwhile, during a police interview, Hernandez initially denied speaking with Penn, claiming that he only knew him by seeing him around.

However, when he was shown the phone records and CCTV footage, he admitted that he met with Penn earlier the night, but claimed that when Penn exited his vehicle, he was fit and well.
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