Wednesday, October 13, 2021
By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 37-year-old man accused of trespassing on Government House property and partially damaging a Christopher Columbus statue has been remanded pending a psychiatric evaluation.
Shervandaze Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt charged with causing $2,000 worth of damage to the monument. The statue’s right leg was destroyed with a sledgehammer on October 9.
Police were dispatched to the scene around 1.20pm. When they arrived, they arrested a man who they said was caught in the act of damaging the statue.
Yesterday, it appeared Smith was willing to enter a plea to the damage and trespassing charges. However, his mother, who was present during the hearing, asked the court if her son could be evaluated as he had been acting strangely for a while and his family was concerned about his behaviour.
Smith also went on a rant in the courtroom, stating that he was operating under a divine purpose after he had an encounter with God and even alluded to conversations he allegedly had with the late Dr Myles Munroe years ago concerning finding his purpose.
Afterwards, Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt said she was going to “err on the side of caution” as she was concerned that Smith may not be a “mentally competent person.”
She said she had to satisfy herself with that information before she accepted his plea because she was “concerned for his personal welfare as well as the welfare of others.”
As a result, she adjourned his case to November 15 and remanded him to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) for a psychiatric evaluation.
Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt explained that Smith would be held at the prison because the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre had no more space. Nonetheless, she said she would make checks for any availability and if there were none, write a letter asking for Smith’s evaluation to be expedited while he is at BDCS.
Yesterday, Smith was given an opportunity to speak with his mother before he was taken into custody.
However, he told the magistrate he had “nothing to say” to her because she tried to make him look like he was crazy on multiple occasions.