Rodney Beckles to appear in Circuit Court tomorrow

KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 29, 2007 – Barbadian murder accused, Rodney Beckles, is to appear in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston tomorrow.

The murder case against the son of the Principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus Professor Hillary Beckles skipped the Preliminary Inquiry stage and was transferred to the Circuit Court to be heard but the case is not expected to start tomorrow, rather it will be a formality to lay the charge. The purpose of a Preliminary Inquiry is to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to commit the accused to trial. The Circuit Court is the criminal jurisdiction of the Supreme Court that is convened in each parish.

Rodney Beckles, a student at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, is charged with killing 28-year-old Khalin Campbell, son of High Court Judge Lennox Campbell. It is reported that the two were smoking ganja at an apartment on Old Hope Road in January when they got into a dispute.

Lead attorney for Beckles, Patrick Atkinson, made two unsuccessful bids, one each in January and February for bail and he is expected to make a third attempt tomorrow.

Atkinson has argued that Beckles will not be a flight risk and that he never initiated the attack but responded to an attack by Campbell who was having a ‘mental health episode’ at the time.

Campbell was reportedly stabbed more than 21 times which the prosecution argued highlighted the seriousness of the crime and the nature of the attack and suggested that Beckles posed a threat to society when he is under the influence of marijuana.

In the second bid, the sitting magistrate disputed statements from the defence attorney that his client did not initiate the contact saying that eyewitness reports indicate otherwise.