28-year-old Colin Francis has been given bail for the attempted murder of Nurse Augustine Elijio, who was stabbed back in July at the Port Loyal Mental Health Centre. Less than a week later, Francis was also accused of killing 60-year-old Nestor Vasquez Junior after they were both placed in the same holding cell on Queen Street. Since his death, the Vasquez family has made several statements about the case. Today, our media colleague, Jules Vasquez called a press conference to express the family’s dismay at hearing that not only has Francis not been charged for his brother’s murder, but also that he was granted bail for Nurse Elijio’s attempted murder.
Jules Vasquez, Brother of Deceased: “We have received the news that Mr.Francis has been offered bail and I am told the most recent is that he hadn’t met it but my family is dismayed, alarmed and angry that Mr.Francis, who killed my brother, is receiving bail when he has not been charged more than five months after the murder of my brother; he has not been charged for any offense. This is not a case where we have to find a who or ‘we’re not sure’, there were only two people in that cell, one came out unconscious, comatose and died in forty eight hours, never knew consciousness again after going into that cell. So the other person has to be responsible and one of them is a 27 year old man and the other is a 60 year old man. We are also so alarmed at this justice system because this man is a danger. In one week he tried to kill a nurse and he killed my brother and I don’t know under what circumstances he got bail but what is this justice system that we can’t bring a charge against a man who is clearly responsible for the death of Nestor Vasquez Jr? Indeed it may be judged that he is not mentally well enough to be charged but he was charged for attempted murder so he must can be charged for murder and we are certain that he is guilty of the murder of my brother. We are demanding that Mr.Francis be charged for my brother’s murder, it’s time- there has been too much time, someone has to answer for the death of my brother, his life was worth a whole lot to the family. The dangers that are associated with this man were amply demonstrated with Nurse Elijio. The police when they brought him to court for Nurse Elijio’s attempted murder they brought him in the full chains hand and foot, that is how they protect themselves, they did not choose to do so for my brother- they chose to do the opposite. The point I’m making is that the dangers have been illustrated and it is only five months since then. I believe that it must be obvious to someone that there may be some societal risk involved in this.”
Vasquez also stated that the family has not been recently briefed on how the investigation is proceeding, so they do not know when, or if, Francis will be charged for murder.
Jules Vasquez, Brother of Deceased: The last time I spoke with the commissioner the investigator was taking – and this was months ago – the investigator was taking further orders from the DPP in terms of collecting statements. As I understand it there was an attempt to get statements from the people in adjoining cells because there were only two people in that cell and so I can see how that could be a problem in bringing charges because there are no independent witnesses but there were people in the adjoining cell who may have been able to hear what happened. I think we all know we have a dysfunctional criminal justice system and it’s a criminal justice system that does not protect people ,ti does not control dangerous people and it does not keep society safe and I think this- you know people have asked what’s my reaction. Obviously I’m very deeply hurt about it but again I am not surprised.”
The officers who were responsible for placing Francis and Vasquez in the same cell have since been dismissed. Jules Vasquez stated that the family would have preferred if charges were levied against them as well.