Body released for burial as alleged electrocution probe continues

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Almost 10 weeks after Shawn Warner was allegedly electrocuted at Jolly Harbour, his body has finally been released to the family for burial. But the ongoing investigation into the exact cause of his death is still moving at a slow pace. The handover comes mere days after his sister, Natasha James, publicly accused the police of reneging on a promise to communicate with the family, and failing to conclude a report that is reportedly key to determining whether Warner was in fact electrocuted.

James provided an update via social media yesterday, saying, “I would like to thank all my family, friends and [loved ones] fortheir unconditional love and support shown to me and my family on the passing of my brother Shawn Sylvester Warner. Just so everyone knows, my mother and I with other family members had a meeting with the [Acting] commissioner of police Mr. Rodney and one Inspector Michael and my brother’s body is now in the hands of my mother, so we can lay him to rest while the investigation continues.”

She said this does not mean the family will give up the fight for justice, but for now the focus is on the funeral and a date will be given shortly. On Monday, James went live on Facebook, blasting the police and Jolly Harbour management team for their handling of the matter. She claimed that the police failed to promptly respond to the report made to the Bolans Police Station regarding the alleged electrocution on November 6, 2018.

“My mother called Bolans police the night of the incident when my brother fell down and got electrocuted and my mother was told that they don’t have anything to do with Jolly Harbour. That’s what the police who answered the phone said to my mother. My mother and friends took up my brother off of the ground, put him in her vehicle to meet the ambulance,” she claimed.

She added that the ambulance crew met her mother on the way to the hospital and the victim was transferred to the ambulance. James said her mother got a call after that. “My mother’s phone rang back, Bolans police, the same police that said they had nothing to do with Jolly Harbour. They called back, ‘oh miss Warner if anything happens, call us back.’ If anything happens? Something didn’t happen? Something happened, something happened,” she stressed.

After her brother was pronounced dead at the hospital 15 minutes after arrival, doctors allegedly told the family the matter had to be reported to the police and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) was contacted. “I am not going to mention the officer’s name but I am telling you the officer who came from CID, he called Bolans Police Station in front of my family and he said to them that somebody had to go down to Jolly Harbour and secure the scene and whatever else.

When we got down there the night we already met Jolly Harbour maintenance,” she said. The woman recalled that a female police officer was also there and the CID officer asked her who were the individuals on the scene and why wasn’t it cordoned off. “The female police officer said to the CID officer when she got there she met these guys and the guys were Jolly Harbour maintenance guys and the officer that she was supposed to relieve or take over from, when she got down there, there was no officer there. So Jolly Harbour maintenance already came and did what they had to do and they’re saying there was no electricity on the pole and that light was on that said day?” she cried.

Since the day after the November 6 incident, the management of Caribbean Development (Antigua) Limited (Jolly Harbour properties) issued a press statement indicating that its environment was safe and there was no electricity going to the pole. But James and her mother, Sandra Warner, are disputing this.

“The doctor said her results for the autopsy, her findings is an enlarged heart, that’s what she’s seeing, an enlarged heart, no heart attack. The lady never said anything about a heart attack. She said she saw an enlarged heart and the enlarged heart can be caused by electrocution, that’s what the doctor said. But because she has not received the report from the police she cannot give a conclusive report. So the report that she is giving is inconclusive,” James said.

On the night of the incident, at about 6:35 p.m., Warner and his mother were leaving Sandra’s Beach Shop, Bar & Grill which they operate at Jolly Harbour. The deceased’s two young sons were with them. The mother told OBSERVER media earlier that the security at the gate was giving them trouble to get out, saying she did not have the key and that they ought to know the gate closes at 6 p.m.

The mother said she turned back to tell her son what was happening and that’s when she saw him being electrocuted and he fell to the ground. She said the pole right where he collapsed had loose wires and a lamp on it was lit. According to the mother, there were several other witnesses who could attest to what occurred.

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