Asdino Bowen, who was on remand for the last seven years for the murder of Linden businesswoman Shevon Gordon was granted bail on Friday after High Court Judge Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall found his constitutional rights for a fair trial without unnecessary delay were infringed.
Bowen was arrested, charged, and remanded for the woman’s murder on May 8, 2015.
Upon his Preliminary Inquiry (PI) in May 2017 in the Linden Magistrate’s Court, Bowen was committed to stand trial for the murder in the High Court of Demerara at the next available sitting.
Further, when the PI was reopened in April 2019, the murder accused was again committed to stand trial for murder in 2020.
Despite being committed to stand trial for murder since 2020, his name has never appeared on the Criminal Assizes Session in the High Court.
As such, through his Attorney-at-Law, Dexter Todd, the accused, on December 16, 2022, filed a bail application pending his trial.
However, in its defense of the bail application, the State indicated that the Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC, had made a second request for a reopening of the PI. Still, there was no document on whether that was done.
While the State did indicate in its defense that the presiding Magistrate at the time confirmed that he did reopen the PI for the second time, there was no evidence to prove it.
The State highlighted that they were “awaiting word” on the reopening of the PI as well as depositions.
While Justice Morriss-Ramlall did not accept the State’s answer during the first hearing of the application, she did not grant bail.
She instructed the prosecutors in the matter to get all the necessary information needed and file a supplementary affidavit in defense highlighting why Bowen’s name was never on the Criminal Assizes Session in the High Court.
In its supplementary affidavit in defense, the prosecution indicated that the Court Clerk perused Bowen’s file and found that the second PI was opened in June 2021 and that the file was uplifted on January 4, 2023, to compile the depositions.
This highlighted that Bowen was never indicted for murder, a critical aspect of the process.
The Judge agreed with defense lawyer Todd that this delay infringed the accused’s constitutional rights and granted bail in the sum of $750,000.
The condition of bail is that he reports to the Police every Friday until his trial is completed.
Gordon was shot and killed during an armed robbery in front of her residence at Block 22, Wismar, Linden, on April 4, 2015.