|Man charged in Haitian deaths|
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Jun 22, 2012
A 43-year-old man was arraigned on 11 counts of abetment to manslaughter yesterday in connection with an alleged human smuggling operation that ended tragically in waters off Abaco last week.
Alphonse Edner, also known as ‘Capo’, looked on as Magistrate Jeanine Weech-Gomez listed the names of the victims.
The victims included six women (one of whom was not identified) and five children.
They were identified as Isomona Pierre, Elvianna Baptiste, Chriscentie Joseph, Jermaine Joseph, Evensky Baptiste, Kerdley Baptiste, Alonzo Joseph, Shana Baptiste, Widna Tereilien and Jessica Baptiste.
Five of the victims were children who attended Treasure Cay Primary School.
Edner was not required to enter a plea and Weech-Gomez informed him through an interpreter that the question of bail did not arise in his case.
The matter was adjourned to August 31 and was fast-tracked to the Supreme Court by way of a voluntary bill of indictment (VBI).
Edner was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prisons until then.
He was arrested on June 15 in connection with the incident.
Police said the boat ‘Cosy Time’ was in waters off Crown Haven, North Abaco, when it started to take on water.
According to police, 28 people were onboard when the boat sank.
Seven people survived, 11 bodies were recovered and the remaining 10 are unaccounted for and feared dead.
According to police, a survivor of the incident was assisting with their investigations, and alleged that passengers paid as much as $5,000 each for the transit to Florida.
The boat’s suspected captain, Chancelaire Baptiste, 52, is still at large, police said.
Several other people have been arrested in connection with the incident. However, none have been arraigned to date.
Bandele LaFleur represented the accused and Sergeant 1697 Brenda Bain was the prosecutor.