Shab Don Denied Bail, Witness Facing Murder Charge In The US

Shab Don's murder case witness slapped with murder charge

Shab Don
Shab Don

Dancehall producer Shab Don was remanded to police custody on Friday after a judge rejected his application for bail due to new developments in his case.

The producer, known for his work with artists like Vybz Kartel, Chronic Law, Squash, and others, is currently awaiting trial for the May 2022 shooting of three people at a birthday party on Marl Road in Rose Heights in St James. The victims, Chadwell Frazer, 27 Chamario ‘Chippy’ Calvin, 24; and Toniann ‘Too Fly’ Reid, 26, were killed in a drive-by shooting.

Shab Don, whose name is Linval Thompson Jr., along with another man, Tajay Clark, were charged in June 2023 for the murders. The two appeared in court on Friday, April 5, at the St James Circuit Court.

King’s Counsel, Tom Tavares-Finson, representing Shab Don, and attorney Khadine Coleman, representing Clarke, made a bail application, citing claims that the men were not identified during an identification parade. The trial began in January and has also been strained due to the absence of two key witnesses.

Witness on murder charge

According to Tavares-Finson, one of the witnesses has been charged with murder in Florida and has not attended court in Jamaica during the trial. The prosecution also confirmed news reports that one of the witnesses was accused of murder in Florida.

According to the Jamaica Observer, Tavares-Finson requested that bail be an option, considering the new information coming to light.

“In my view, bail could be considered because of what happened, when the officers went to the scene of the murder, the witnesses had indicated that the perpetrators were wearing masks and they could not identify them,” the lawyer said.

Shab Don mugshot

Counsel Coleman added that no identification parade was held, and there is no evidence that her client is responsible for the shooting. The attorney also added that her client needed urgent surgery to remove a foreign object, and his health was impacted while in custody. However, the prosecution claims that two witnesses identified Shab Don as a shooter and that witnesses and the investigator in the case have been threatened.

“One of our main witnesses has received some serious threats, my Lord, and had to be relocated. Not only that, but it has come to our attention that even the investigating personnel in this case, my Lord, is also under threat,” the Observer quoted the prosecution as saying.

In the meantime, despite Tavares-Finson and Coleman offering several conditions for their client to abide by to assuage fears that the men would breach conditions of bail, Justice Bertram Morrison denied bail given the serious nature of the offense.

Shab Don was previously charged with breaching the Corruption Prevention Act in 2021 after he attempted to bribe a police officer after a gun was found in the car he was traveling in.

His co-accused, Romario ‘BMR’ Scott, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and was sentenced to six years in jail for the offence. The court is currently trying Shab Don’s corruption case.