2008-10-16 / News

Judge delays trial to February so Swain can raise money

A judge in the British Virgin Islands on Monday agreed to delay the trial of David Swain until February so that the former Jamestown dive shop owner can raise money for his defense.

The 52-year-old Swain is a former Jamestown Town Council member and stands accused of murdering his wife, Shelly Arden Tyre, in March 1999 while the couple was vacationing on the island of Tortola.

According to a press release issued by the BVI Department of Information and Public Relations, Swain's arraignment and trial will be moved to the next court session, called an assize, which begins in February 2009.

On Monday, Swain's local attorney told the judge that Swain needs more time to raise money for his defense. "This case involves quite a bit of expert testimony from the Crown, and it is imperative for the defense to put forward expert testimony as well in order to secure a proper defense," Mishka Jacobs, who represents Swain, told the judge. "We are having quite a bit of diffi culty in securing the necessary experts."

In agreeing to postpone the case, Justice Odel Adams said it is important for Swain's trial to take place as soon as possible. "The accused is expected to stand trial no later than the next assizes, to be held in February of next year," the judge said.

"We're giving you until February to see if you can raise whatever funds may be necessary for your defense," Justice Adams told Swain.

Swain will remain in custody in Her Majesty's Prison, Balsam Ghut, Tortola, where he has been held since he was extradited in May 2007.

The 46-year-old Shelley Tyre drowned while scuba diving with Swain, who owned Ocean State Scuba on North Main Road, while on vacation in Tortola in 1999. BVI officials ruled her death an accident. The Tortola case was reopened after a Rhode Island civil trial in 2006 in which Swain was held responsible for Tyre's death.

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