L-R: Rodney Simmonds Jr. and Mikhael Howe.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Jurors unanimously found Rodney Simmonds Jr. and Mikhael Howe not guilty of the January 21, 2011 MoneyGram armed robbery following a decision in the High Court today, June 25.
Howe and Simmonds were charged with robbery, possession of firearm with intent to endanger a life and wounding with intent.
Following a trial before Justice Albert Redhead, jurors found the two not guilty on all charges; however, only Howe was freed as Simmonds is on remand for another matter.
Simmonds Jr. was represented by Attorney At Law Corrine George and Howe by Yohhahnseh Cave, while Prosecutors Valston Graham and Leslie Ann Faulkner appeared for the crown.
Prior to the commencement of the trial, there were five men charged in relation to the robbery - Leonard Sprauve, brothers Jason Stevens and Michael Stevens, Rodney Simmonds Jr. and Mikhael Howe.
However, on June 7 shorlty before the trial commenced, Jason Stevens and Leonard Sprauve pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of firearm with intent to endanger a life, and not guilty to wounding with intent. Following the guilty plea, the crown offered no evidence on the charge of wounding with intent. Stevens was represented by Richard Rowe and Sprauve by Patrick Thompson. They will be sentenced on July 20 and a social inquiry report has to be submitted by July 19.
During the trial involving Michael Stevens, Simmonds Jr. and Howe, the charges against Stevens were dismissed. This was following an application by his lawyer Akilah Anderson; hence, the trial involving Howe and Simmonds Jr. continued.
According to Police, two masked men with handguns approached an employee, Carson Lewis, outside MoneyGram and took the bag he was carrying which included the day's earnings ($190,500). The employee received a gunshot wound to his left leg during the incident.
Police stated that the assailants were wearing black clothing with masks over their faces. Prior to fleeing the scene, the robbers fired shots indiscriminately.
The stolen monies were not recovered.