Venezuelan woman freed of gun charges …”ONE FOR GARY GRIFFITH”

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This case is one for Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to deal with!

Not running behind Minister Robert Le Hunte.

Griffith needs to look into reports of police officers laying charges and never turning up in court to prosecute these charges.

Case in print!

A 21-year-old Venezue­lan woman, who was charged with firearm and am­mu­ni­tion pos­ses­sion af­ter her friend was killed in an al­leged shootout with po­lice in March, was freed on Tuesday.

Mag­is­trate Re­han­na Ho­sein dis­missed the charges against Moni­ka Jerez-Gon­za­lez dur­ing a hear­ing in the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court.

Ho­sein’s de­ci­sion was based on com­plaints from Jerez-Gon­za­lez’s lawyer,, Criston J Williams, over the fail­ure of the po­lice of­fi­cer, who charged her, to at­tend hear­ings of the case.

The mag­is­trate al­so con­sid­ered that pros­e­cu­tors had no wit­ness­es ready to tes­ti­fy al­though the case was list­ed for tri­al on Tuesday. Pros­e­cu­tors had al­so failed to dis­close the ev­i­dence against Jerez-Gon­za­lez dur­ing pre­vi­ous hear­ings, as re­quired un­der the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Rules.

Af­ter the de­ci­sion was hand­ed down, Jerez-Gon­za­lez thanked Ho­sein and the Ju­di­cia­ry for ex­pe­dit­ing her case.

Jerez-Gon­za­lez, who main­tained her in­no­cence since be­ing charged, al­so claimed that po­lice fab­ri­cat­ed the case against her.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice re­ports, around 11.30 pm on March 28, Jerez-Gon­za­lez and her 31-year-old friend Mar­co An­to­nio Gon­za­les, al­so from Venezuela, drove past a road­block in Diego Mar­tin and failed to fol­low in­struc­tions from po­lice to stop.

Po­lice claimed they were shot at when they even­tu­al­ly in­ter­cept­ed the ve­hi­cle along St Lu­cien Road. They re­turned fire and wound­ed both friends.

Gon­za­les died on the scene while Gon­za­lez, who was shot in her face, was tak­en to the Port-of-Spain Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment.

A quan­ti­ty of Unit­ed States (US) cur­ren­cy was al­leged­ly found on Gon­za­lez, while the loaded gun was al­leged­ly found in­side the car.

An au­top­sy per­formed Gon­za­les’ body showed that he died from six gun­shot wounds—one in the back of the neck, four times in the mid-back re­gion and one to the low­er back.

The cou­ple was vis­it­ing Trinidad to pur­chase food items to ex­port his coun­try. Gon­za­les’ body was flown to Venezuela for his fu­ner­al.

 

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Moni­ka Jerez-Gon­za­lez

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