Murdered Prison Officer Sherwin Francis

Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant

A prisoner on remand has been pointed out in connection with the murder of prison officer Sherwin Francis. The inmate has been separated from the rest of inmates while the police continue their investigations.

This was yesterday confirmed by action Commissioner of Prison Dennis Pulchan to Guardian Media.

Pulchan said Francis’s murder is now solely a police investigation as there was a threat placed on the life of Francis.

Guardian Media understands that Francis, while on duty last week at the Golden Grove Remand Yard, confiscated a cellphone from an inmate who then in turn threatened to kill him.

“I can confirm the direct threat to kill and the prisoner has been separated and will be interviewed by police as it is now a police investigation because there was a direct threat,” Pulchan said.

Asked if other officers were threatened as a result of the said confiscation incident, Pulchan replied: “Yes,” “I am concerned about the security of my officers and will be working on addressing security concerns to see what’s best for them.”

Francis, 48, was shot multiple times while at his home at Fosso Bianco Drive, Oasis Greens in Endeavor, Chaguanas at about 6.15 pm. According to a police report, Francis was at the time having his dinner when there was a knocking on the front door. A relative responded and three men ambushed them and shot Francis multiple times. The gunmen then escaped. Francis’ wife ran to a nearby neighbor where she sought refuge. Francis was taken to the Chaguanas District Health Facility where he succumbed to his injuries.

Francis’ murder occurred on the second day of a planned hunger strike among the remanded prisoners. His murder was believed to be a hit from within prison walls, especially by remanded prisoners housed at Building 13 at the Maximum Security Prison.

Francis’ relatives, who were at the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday for the autopsy, denied to give any comment to members of the media.

however, a close friend and colleague of Francis contacted Guardian Media to say that Francis, he believe, died a hero.

“Francis was dear to all and very strict while on duty. He tolerated no nonsense from prisoners and fellow officers and would always stand up for the right things. So, if he died because he stood up for what the prison service stands for and its correct standard then he would have died a hero because he would have been killed for carrying out his true duties of the oath he made when he joined the service so I salute my dear friend, Francis…He will be missed