Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Breaking news, and it's not good

About a year and a half ago, I announced on this blog that the two owners of the Key Largo Scuba Shack - Christopher Jones and Alison Gracey - had finally been arrested on the island of St. Maarten. Of course, the wheels of justice turn very slowly, so additional news had been hard to come by. However, there HAS now been news, and it's not good. Well, actually there was some good news, then bad.

First, the good news. The US petitioned for extradition of Jones and Gracey so they could face charges related to Aimee's death (for those who don't recall, these two are British nationals, not US citizens). The Dutch court in St. Maarten arrested them, seized their passports, and released them on bond based on their lawyer's assurance that they were not a flight risk. Then this past September, the courts finally got around to ruling on extradition, and denied Jones' and Gracey's appeal to block extradition. This, in turn, cleared the way for them to be arrested and returned to the US. Great news, right?

As it turns out, Jones and Gracey, whose passports had been seized, actually WERE a flight risk. Since the Dutch had taken their passports, they simply applied to Britain for new ones. The Brits granted them, and by the time the Dutch authorities came to arrest them to extradite them back to the US, Jones and Gracey had fled St. Maarten. According to the Attorney General's office in Florida, they appear to have moved to France.

Now we will need to start over, petitioning France to extradite them and waiting for that process to run its course all over again.

I accepted a long time ago that these two may never see justice in this lifetime. In order to move on in my own life and build a new life that had joy, I let go of the need to see these two punished for what happened. But don't think for a second that I still wouldn't love for the two of them to see a courtroom someday. And if they do, I'll be there, as will Aimee's mother, brother, and others who loved her.

That possibility, however, now seems a lot more remote.