The minor accused of stabbing a security officer to death on Monday night was arraigned on the charge of murder in the juvenile court yesterday. Isaac Sweeting, 36, became the 58th murder victim so far this year, making the murder count two shy of the total for 2006. During the arraignment, Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans spent much of the time trying to establish pertinent details regarding the accused, including guardianship. The accused had appeared in court on Wednesday, but the arraignment had been postponed because neither a relative nor a guardian appeared on his behalf. Yesterday, three persons appeared in court on the minor’s behalf; his sister who resides in Abaco, his sister’s relative who is a United States resident and a friend of the family. During the proceedings, the magistrate appointed the expatriate as the guardian for the accused. The minor, whom police arrested shortly after Sweeting was murdered, told the magistrate that he dropped out of high school and worked in the construction industry as a carpenter’s helper. In his earlier court appearance, the juvenile, whom the court determined was 15, had said he was living with his 18-year-old girlfriend in their Margaret Street home in the Kemp Road area. Magistrate Vogt-Evans set a preliminary inquiry date for 7, December 2007.
The prosecution intends to call 14 witnesses, at least six of whom should be present for the preliminary inquiry which is designed to determine if there is sufficient evidence for trial. A representative of the Department of Social Services then relayed the information to the juvenile in Creole. Court officials earlier determined that the minor has no legal status in The Bahamas. The defendant was then remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison after the magistrate ruled out the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys as an appropriate holding facility. "In view of the defendant’s immigration status and the seriousness of the offence, the court having been informed that the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys does not have appropriate facilities, the court orders that the defendant be remanded at Her Majesty’s Prison in the block assigned for juveniles," Magistrate Vogt- Evans said. Sweeting was employed at the Top Class Security firm at the time that he was murdered. Police reported that he was on duty at the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre when he was attacked.