Veron Primus, a man wanted by U.S authorities for murder, who escaped lawful custody here twice, while awaiting trial for a high profile murder committed here, is now awaiting sentencing for that murder.
The 35-year-old Vermont man will be sentenced on September 21, 2022 for the murder of Real Estate Agent Sharlene Greaves, who was originally of Dorsetshire Hill, but resided at Calliaqua, at the time of her death.
At the High Court Criminal Assizes on Monday, a 12-member jury comprised of seven females and five males, found Primus guilty of murdering the 36-year-old woman between November 11 and 14, 2015.
Greaves’ Secretary, Ronella Bailey, had discovered the body in Greaves’ Bijou Real Estate office on the morning of November 13, 2015. An autopsy conducted by surgical pathologist Dr. Ronald Child revealed she died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
Greaves’ vehicle was subsequently found abandoned at the side of the road at Wilson Hill, Kingstown.
Following a very lengthy summation by Justice Brian Cottle on Friday, July 15, which went way beyond 3pm, the judge allowed the Jury to go home, and return on Monday morning to deliberate. They returned the unanimous verdict around 12:45 p.m. on Monday.
When Justice Cottle asked Primus if he had anything to say, he remained silent.
The September 21 date for sentencing was decided after Justice Cottle asked Primus’ lead lawyer Michael Wyllie when he would be ready with his mitigation. Wyllie replied that he intends to leave the state on Saturday to seek medical attention. When Cottle asked him how long will that be, Wyllie replied, “It depends on what my diagnosis is”.
In light of this development, and the fact that the current sitting of the Assizes is expected to concluded today (Friday), Justice Cottle adjourned sentencing to September 21.
“If by that date Mr. Wyllie is still not ready, I would have to adjourn it further,” the Judge stated.
Wyllie was assisted at the trial by attorneys Yvnette Fredeick and Sonel Frazer, while law student Kamla David took notes for the defence.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Karim Nelson led the case for the Prosecution. He was assisted by Crown Counsel Kaylia Toney, and John Ballah, a state lawyer.
Several police detectives testified for the Prosecution, including lead investigator Corporal Edmond Ollivierre of the Major Crime Unit (MCU).
Primus was not arrested and charged with Greaves’ murder until April 2016 when he was detained in connection with a report of kidnapping, and a number of sexual offences, involving a young lady here. It was while the police were probing this matter, they were able to gather the evidence to charge him with the murder of Greaves.
Charges were also laid in connection with the other matter, but those were withdrawn by the Prosecution after the complainant failed to show up at the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) in 2017.
Primus is wanted in the United States in connection with the killing of a 16-year-old girl, Shanel Petro-Nixon, who was reportedly strangled in a garbage bag on a Brooklyn, New York sidewalk in June 2006. He was interviewed by detectives from the New York Police Department (NYPD) while he was in police custody in St. Vincent in 2016.
Petro-Nixon’s body was discovered by a sanitation worker on June 22, 2006, WPIX 11 had reported.
Primus was deported from the United States to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2015 after completing his state prison time for violating an order of protection.
In the years following Petro-Nixon’s murder, he was accused of sexually assaulting two women in the United States, but was acquitted, at trial, WPIX11 TV News had also reported.
Mixed reactions have surfaced here, following Primus’ conviction on Monday. While most persons, with whom THE VINCENTIAN spoke, were pleased with the guilty verdict, they are concerned that Primus may escape again from prison.
Primus was sentenced to 16 months in prison on October 2, 2019 for escaping lawful custody at Her Majesty’s Prison Kingstown, and 24 months in Prison in December, 2020 for a similar offence committed between December 7 and December 10, 2020. He was also sentenced to three months for damaging a sheet of galvanize valued $148, and a sheet of plywood valued $153.59, in connection with that escape.
Both escapes were short-lived, and Primus pleaded guilty to both charges.