Jury returns a not-guilty verdict after judge upholds a no-case submission made by lawyer of murder accused

While the family of former murder accused Mikhail Gomes is elated that he has escaped conviction for the capital offence, the relatives of Vincia James continue to be heart-broken, feeling there has been no justice for the woman who is presumed dead.

Today, Friday, February 17, Justice Colin Williams upheld a no-case submission made on Gomes’ behalf by his attorney, Lawrence Daniels.

As a result of the judge’s ruling, the jury – which had sat on this case for over three weeks – was instructed to return a verdict of not guilty.

Gomes had been on remand at His Majesty’s Prison for three years before he was granted bail in the sum of $200,000 with a $40,000 cash deposit.  It was some five weeks later that he was able to meet the cash requirement.

Now a free man, he can put this matter – which has been haunting him for almost six years – behind him and move on with his life.

Gomes had been accused and charged with killing James, his ex-girlfriend, on April 7, 2017, the last time she was seen alive.

It is alleged that the New Winthorpes resident was last seen with him, leaving her place of work, the Dixie Betting Company, on the Old Parham Road, at about 1:12 p.m. on the day she disappeared.

James has not been heard from since, and extensive searches have never turned up the young mother’s body.  However, two years ago, a handbag containing her identification cards was reportedly retrieved from the waterway at North Sound and handed over to the Police.

While it was rumoured, then, that the waterway would be searched for James’ remains, it was never confirmed that this action had been taken.

Meanwhile, some members of the public are angry about the court’s decision, declaring that there is no justice in Antigua and Barbuda and that they have no faith in the system.  Some are blaming the Police, accusing the law-enforcement officers of having dropped the ball again.

Others, however, are advising James’ family to continue having faith and trust in God, who will not let evil go unpunished.