Vincia James murder accused to stand trial

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The Pigotts man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Vincia James, has been committed to stand trial in the upcoming criminal assizes.
Mikhail Gomes appeared before magistrate Conliffe Clarke yesterday in the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court with his attorney, where he learned that the court was satisfied that a prima facie case was made out by the prosecution to warrant a trial before a judge and jury in the High Court..
Attorney Lawrence Daniel told the court in his defence submission, that the case should not go to trial because there were no eye witnesses and the police never recovered the body of the New Winthorpes woman who was last seen by her family on April 7 last year.
The attorney also argued that there was no medical evidence to substantiate the cause of death as murder and he questioned whether murder can be verified in the absence of a body.
However, Senior Sergeant Dane Bontiff, who is a police prosecutor, countered in his submissions that proving murder as a fact is based on circumstantial evidence and even though James was still missing up to yesterday, and Gomes did not confess to killing her, there was substantial circumstantial evidence to send the case to a judge and jury for them to decide.
Bontiff said that Gomes was the last known person to see James, and he told police he did not know where the 26-year-old woman had gone, despite both their cellular phones were ringing from the same location for over two hours and he had no alibi for that time.
The magistrate was satisfied that the case was sufficient and sent the matter to the High Court for the September Criminal Assizes.
James was last seen on Old Parham Road around 1:12 p.m. on the day she left Dixie Betting Company where she worked.
Relatives have not heard from her since and they, along with the police, defence force and scores of residents have been searching for her ever since, with no clue as to her whereabouts. A reward of $10,000 is being offered by the government for information that leads to finding her, while the family and a businessman have put up $6,500 total for such information.

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