CASE NOT CLOSED: Cruel way to go
Keith Prince was somewhat of a character who roamed The City almost daily.But he was different from the eccentrics who littered the streets of our capital. Firstly, he had a fixed place of abode in Deacons Road, St Michael, and secondly, Prince, as he was familiarly known, harmlessly interacted in his rather unusual inquisitive fashion with his “friends”.His favourite haunt was the Bridgetown Magistrates’ Court where he relished absorbing some of the most tantalising bits of information elicited during minor matters that, unfortunately, found their way before the judicial officers for settlement. He was among the last of a dying breed of regulars in the courtyard who were there for the sheer pleasure of arguing the merits or demerits of a case based on their layman’s interpretation of the law. Prince, a mischievous fellow of sorts, sometimes used the information gathered in court to his advantage. Small in stature and in the biblical context not always fair to look upon, Prince would sometimes be on the receiving end of some unkind remarks. Some of the attacks on the diminutive fellow were of his own initiation; others were simple unwarranted attacks.Nevertheless, for all his flaws, the cross-eyed Prince was accepted among the courtyard scene and soon was dubbed a “legal messenger”. He was well known around those parts by judges, magistrates, police, prison wardens, prosecutors, lawyers and the Press. He too knew the key players in that section of the judiciary – which was not always a good thing for them.As the years wore on Prince progressed from whittling away the days to finding a purpose by running errands, and much later collecting plastic bottles for redemption. To this end he could be found heading to his home loaded witha day’s work.It was after one of these exhausting days and nights of running errands and hauling bottles that the industrious Prince met an untimely end. He had already escaped once with his life when he was struck by a vehicle.But there was no third time lucky for Prince.He was hit by a vehicle, possibly two, on October 14, 2009.It was about 8:55 p.m. when Prince, 51, a brisk walker, headed towards his Block 10K Deacons Farm, St Michael home. Prince was walking along Deacons Main Road when the incident occurred. Neither of the cars involved stopped.Head injuriesPrince suffered injuries to his head and body and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), where he later died.Thus began the search to discover the identity of the mysterious hit-and-run driver(s).At the time of his death, niece Sandra Prince recalled a fun-loving uncle who got along with everyone.His former neighbour Patricia Edwards said: “I know of Prince as a nice boy . . . very quiet and nice. I remember he used to collect bottles to sell. It was wrong what happened to him.” One friendship born out of the association with court was with attorney-at-law Dr Waldo Waldron-Ramsay, who said Prince would be deeply missed.“The manner in which he was transported from this life to another was very distressing. You cannot determine how you go, but one would wish for another way. I will miss him tremendously,” Ramsay said at the time of the death. Today, Acting Assistant Superintendent Leon Blades urges possible witnesses to come forward with whatever information they may have on the accident. Come forward “We are seeking the public’s cooperation. Don’t withhold that information. You may be [helping] the person who did it before [to do] it again,” Blades stated. He explained that once people got away with crime, they became emboldened.“The life you save may be your own . . . . Somebody might have seen the accident and decided that it is none of their business; but the person could do it to one of their relatives. Call and give us the information.” “Speak up!” he said.
Each week the Case Not Closed desk will revisit some of the most intriguing cold cases that continue to baffle investigators. This week we examine the hit-and run death of Keith Michael Prince. Anyone with information on this or any other case should contact the Crime Desk at 253-4871 or the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-TIPS (8477). A reward is given for information that leads to the solving of a crime.