By Admin. Updated 2:03 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Embattled government senator and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ashelle Morgan has been granted leave from the House in light of charges she faces in court.
In a statement sent to the media on June 29, 2021, Ms. Morgan said:
“Given the charge which I have been called upon to answer in the Magistrate’s Court, I have sought and been granted by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, a 1 month leave of absence from the sittings of the House of Assembly, in the first instance.”
In another correspondence, circulated to the media, the Speaker of the House of Assembly granted senator Morgan’s request.
Ms. Morgan is one of three people who have been charged in relation to an incident where there was the discharge of a firearm leading to one individual being wounded.
Reports emerged in the local media that there was the discharge of a firearm on the private property of Mr. Cornelius John, 60, at Diamond, on April 13, 2021, and that Mr. John was shot during the incident.
In those reports in the local media, which included video interviews with Mr. John, government senator, Ashelle Morgan and the Assistant Director of Public Prosecution – Mr. Karim Nelson were said to have been on the scene of the incident.
It later emerged in early May 2021, that Senator Morgan and Assistant DPP Nelson were declared by the police as “persons of interest” in ongoing investigations on the matter.
On June 24, 2021, in a press release from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPP), Sejilla McDonald announced the following charges against Mr. Cornelius John, Assistant DPP Karim Nelson, Senator Ashelle Morgan:
- Threatening Language against Mr. Cornelius John in respect of complaints made by Mrs. Nicole John;
- Threatening Language against Mr. Cornelius John in respect of a complaint made by Ms. Ashelle Morgan;
- Wounding and Unlawful discharge of firearm against Mr. Karim Nelson in respect of complaints by Mr. Cornelius John; and
- Assault with intent to commit Wounding against Ms. Ashelle Morgan in respect of a complaint by Mr. Cornelius John.
In the June 29, 2021, statement, Ms. Morgan said:
“While there is no legal or moral obligation for me to take such leave, I chose to do so voluntarily because I do not wish for the upcoming trial to distract from or to overshadow the business of the House of Assembly.”
“I hope that the trial of the matter proceeds and concludes in the shortest time possible so as to negate any necessity for a further application for a leave of absence,” she added.