Man who caused ruckus in court remanded
Steven Witter, who first came to public attention in March by challenging cops at Hellshire Beach in St Catherine, was remanded in his latest appearance in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday.
When he was last in court on June 11, he was facing charges of threatening to kill and use of malicious communication. However, he disrupted court proceedings when he started an expletive-laden rant, and challenged police officers to shoot him. The incident was captured on video. A psychiatric evaluation was ordered.
When he appeared before Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague yesterday, she told his lawyer John Clarke that the psychiatric report states his client is fit to plead.
Witter pleaded not guilty to using indecent language, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, contempt of court, affray and malicious destruction of property.
"You are still in cuffs because of the history. When I say the history, on the very last occasion you came before the court, your behaviour was very disruptive. So in light of that posture, I view it appropriate and I have instructed the police officers to keep you in handcuffs," the judge said. But Clarke argued that another evaluation be done for his client.
"This report, My Lady, and psychiatrists have indicated that there are two tests. There is one test for fitness to plead and there is another test in relation to other disabilities. Now, a person can be fit to plead but still suffer from other disabilities," he said. However, Cole-Montague was not convinced.
"So it is has been established by the consultant psychiatrist, who operates at Tower Street, maintains an office at the Bellevue Hospital, the only mental hospital in country to that extent, and he does the drug treatment court. Why should I now go beyond what the doctor has written? I am satisfied with what I have here," the judge stressed.
Witter was further remanded in custody until his matters are mentioned on October 4.