Prison officer charged in connection with jailbreak

Kingstown, St. Vincent, October 3, 2019 (iWitnessNewsSVG): For the second time in three years, a prison officer has found himself in trouble with the law.

On Thursday, Louie Cupid, who has 12 years’ experience as a prison officer, was charged in connection with accused murderer Veron Primus’ escape from Her Majesty’s Prison in Kingstown earlier this week.

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A source familiar with the investigation confirmed that Cupid has been charged but did not disclose the exact charge(s) that he faces.

A senior member of the Public Service Union, the trade union that represents prison officers, also confirmed to iWitness News that Cupid had been charged.

The PSU source, however, has not verified the nature of the charges, but confirmed that police had released the three other prison officers whom they had detained since Tuesday, when Primus’ escape was discovered.

Cupid is expected to appear before the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on Friday, where the charge(s) will be read to him.

On Nov. 3, 2016, Cupid appeared before the Serious Offences Court and pleaded not guilty to a charge that on Oct. 31, 2016 at Her Majesty’s Prisons in Kingstown, he brought or attempted to bring into Her Majesty’s Prison a prohibited item, to wit one Azumi cellular phone and its accessories comprising of a headphone, USB cord, adapter and one portable charger.

Cupid had been granted station bail before appearing in court and Senior Magistrate Rechanne Browne allowed the bail arrangement to continue.

The matter was withdrawn on Jan. 20, 2017, when Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told the court that the Crown was not proceeding with the matter.

Primus, 32, escaped while on remand awaiting trial for the November 2015 murder of real estate agent Sharleen Greaves, 33.

On Wednesday, the chief magistrate ordered him to serve a 16-month prison term for the jailbreak.

He had pleaded guilty to a charge that between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2019, at Kingstown, while being held on remand at Her Majesty’s Prisons, he did escape such lawful custody.

The accused murderer, who returned to custody voluntarily, refused to tell police anything about how he was able to escape from prison.

In court, his only comment on the jailbreak was, “I did return voluntarily and I did plead guilty at the first opportunity.”

Primus has also been indicted in New York in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Chanel Petro-Nixon.

U.S. authorities have made an extradition request for Primus but Kingstown says it will consider the request after exhausting the legal proceeding in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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