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Judge chides lawyers for unpreparedness in 'Beachy Stout' case

High Court Judge Vinette Graham Allen on Wednesday chided attorneys for failing to comply with her orders to have the case involving Portland businessman Everton 'Beachy Stout' McDonald and Oscar Barnes ready for plea and case management.
 
Mr. McDonald is charged with the July 2020, murder of his wife Tonia.
 
He is also charged with the 2009 murder of his first wife Marlene.
 
The hearing was initially scheduled to be completed Wednesday but was part-heard and is expected to be completed on October 6.
 
Justice Graham Allen, who had ordered that the parties meet and agree on statements, was irritated when attorney John Jacobs, who was recently retained by Mr. McDonald and was holding for attorney Earl Hamilton, was unable to confirm if he had received full disclosure.
 
During the hearing, the prosecution informed the judge that full disclosure had been made.
 
Justice Graham Allen said the failure of the attorneys to meet and have engaging discussions prior to Wednesday was "a waste of the court's time". 
 
She said the case is technical and both parties must sit and discuss it.
 
Prior to delaying the hearing, the judge instructed Mr. Jacobs to contact Mr. Hamilton.
 
When he returned, Mr. Jacobs told the court that he was advised that there are outstanding documents that the prosecution is yet to disclose.
 
Replying to Mr. Jacobs, the judge said she was unable to proceed further.
 
She again ordered both parties to have discussions to ensure all the documents have been disclosed.
 
She also ordered that Mr. Hamilton appears in court at the next hearing.
 
The registrar was instructed to notify the lawyer in writing.
 
In the other case against Mr. McDonald, the hearing was similarly set for October 6 to facilitate disclosure of the indictment to Mr. Jacobs, who was recently retained by the businessman.
 
The voluntary indictment is to be disclosed by October 3.
 
The parties were also ordered to have similar discussions about disclosure as well as the length and mode of trial.
 
Mr. McDonald, who appeared via Zoom, was remanded while his co-accused Oscar Barnes, who appeared physically in the Home Circuit Court, had his bail extended.
 
A trial date is expected to be set at the next hearing.
 


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