Laden Returns To Court Today To Apply For Bail


Dancehall deejay Laden has his fingers crossed that he will be granted bail today when he appears before a Black River Resident Magistrate Court in St Elizabeth later today, November 3, but his lawyers a bit more skeptical about his chances.

Laden, whose real name is O’Keele Aaron, has been incarcerated at a St Elizabeth lock-up since last Wednesday. He is expected to be charged with illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, breaching the Disaster Risk Management Act, and failing to stop at the request of the police.

His attorney-at-law Charles Benbow, principal of Charles A Benbow & Associates, spoke with the Jamaica Observer about his chances. He said that Laden was in a reflective mood but remains hopeful.

“He is in a sombre mood. He is fully aware of the charges against him and looking forward to his day in court to have his name vindicated,” Benbow told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

He added that his chances at securing bail may be dampened because the firearm that was recovered has been sent to Kingston for ballistic testing as police try to ascertain if it was commissioned for any crime on record. Without that report, any chance of bail seems unlikely.

Benbow also said, however, that the outcome is not all doom and gloom as the magistrate may take the fact that Laden is well known into consideration.

Jamaica’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) revealed late last week that 21-year-old Saaion Ebanks and a 16-year-old boy were also charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the Constabulary Communications Unit, confirmed that information. She also said that on the night of October 28, Laden, along with two occupants in a black Mercedez Benz, were ordered to stop the vehicle in Cheapside, St Elizabeth but defied the order and took off. Laden is believed to have been the driver of the car.

Following a police chase, a bag was tossed out of the vehicle through a sunroof. Police took the suspects back to the site where the bag was thrown. Following a search of the area, they said they found a Hi-point 9mm pistol. The three men were taken into police custody and charged.