BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – LARRY VAUGHAN, husband of kidnapped victim Gilda Vaughan, told the Court during his testimony Wednesday (Jan. 30) that when he inquired of the kidnappers why was he targeted, they told that his name was on a list.
Larry was the third witness called by the prosecution team in the kidnapping case against Jahmana Walters, Ali Percival, Clayton Laws and Jermaine Riley; a case which the prosecution alleges that while armed, the men took Larry and Gilda Vaughan out of their home and demanded a sum of money from them.
It is also alleged that the men took Gilda to a location where she was confined against her will.
The case began on Monday (Jan. 29) and in addition to Larry, those who testified are his wife, Dr. Dwain Archibald, Court Clerk Jennifer Matthew, Glenville Matthew, Immigration Officer Denise Davis, and Police Officers Leon McAllister and Zavester Jefferson.
Larry said that at around 2:15 a.m. on October 28, 2011, he was awakened by two men and he first thought it was a dream. One of the men, he added, was approximately 5’4” tall and the other about one inch taller.
He said he then saw his wife in a corner of their room with tape on her mouth..
Larry told the Court that he is employed at the First Caribbean International Bank as an Assistant Manager and that the men were asking him questions about his place of work.
He explained that the men told him they were there to take him to the bank to collect $1M and that they knew he had keys to the financial institution. He however informed them that he was not in possession of any key to the bank.
The witness said the men told him that they were professionals and that they were poor people.
He said the men also mentioned the location of where some of the bank’s staff lived and asked where they could have located the Manager; a question to which he replied that he did not know.
Larry also told the Court that following his negative answer, the men then told him that he would have to go to his wife’s father for money.
Also in his testimony, Larry said when they left the house he was instructed to drive along the FT Williams Highway and then onto the Kim Collins Highway.
On the latter Highway, he said the men told him to park the vehicle on the field along the roadway. After complying, the men told him that they would be taking his wife away and he should wear a makeshift blindfold and to not leave the area until half an hour after they would have gone.
After they drove off with his wife, Larry said he drove to his parents’ home in Lime Kiln and informed them of the incident. He then headed back home to check on his children, after which he called Corporal Thompson.
It was further revealed that on the following day he received a phone call and journeyed to the hospital to meet his wife, whom he said had lacerations to her wrist and ankles, bruised cheeks, and one of her eyes was red. He added that she appeared exhausted, relieved and scared.
A number of items were brought in Court as evidence for Larry to identify, including three firearms, and clothing that he said belonged to his wife.
Dr. Dwain Archibald told the Court that he had examined Gilda, who was takent to the hospital on Oct. 29, and found that she had a number of abrasions to the right of her cheek, chest and knee.
Glenville Matthew of New Road Housing told the Court that the home on East Park Range where Gilda was held captive belonged to his sister, who resided in Canada, and that he was the caretaker.
Matthew said he usually make checks on the house, at least once per week, and that the last time he did that was the Wednesday before the incident.
He said sometime around 7:00 a.m. on Oct. 29, he received a call from Inspector Belgrove and he went to the home, which originally belonged to his deceased father.
Matthew spoke about the condition in which he met the house and said there was a footprint on one of the doors and a number of items were thrown on the floor. He also said that at the time of the incident the unoccupied house had electricity and water.
Court Clerk Jennifer Matthew said she was present in Court when Lauren Longley gave evidence.
Jennifer recalled Longley’s testimony, whom said she was a student of Ross University and that she gave her vehicle to Clayton Laws, one of the accused, to fix. Longley’s evidence stated that Laws told her the vehicle was missing and together they drove around looking for it.
Langley, she added, made a report of her missing vehicle at the Frigate Police Station and that she later received a call that it was at the Basseterre Police Station.
Longley’s testimony also said that she was leaving St. Kitts permanently in 2012, and that was confirmed by Immigration Officer Denise Davis.
Police Officer Leon McAllister told the Court that when he arrived at the location where Gilda was found, Ali Percival and Jermaine Riley were also there.
McAllister said he asked one of the men if there was any firearm in the house and was told to look in a chest of drawers, where he found two.
After his testimony, for the first time since the case began, the accused men decided to cross-examine one of the prosecution’s witnesses.
Percival asked McAllister in what position was he when found, to which the officer said “he was standing”.
Percival put it to the officer that he was lying and that he had found him on the ground bounded and beaten up.
Officer McAllister denied the allegations and also that of Jermaine Riley who claimed that he too was beaten by the police.
The case continues on Monday (Feb. 4).