Newly acquitted defendant in the Clansman-One Don Gang trial Dwayne Salmon said it was a case of mistaken identity that had caused him to be charged.
The 31-year-old construction worker was initially charged in June 2019 with being a member of a criminal organisation and illegal possession of a firearm. He allegedly used the name ‘Chemist’ and supplied the gang with weapons and repair firearms. He was freed yesterday after Chief Justice Bryan Sykes upheld a no-case submission by his attorney.
“I told them they have the wrong man, I don’t even know the name of that person. I told them from first that it was the wrong person but I have to give thanks to God that I am free of all these charges,” Salmon said. A former gang member who is one of the prosecution’s main witnesses testified that he took a firearm to Salmon to be repaired for the gang and had also purchased a firearm from him for the gang. But Salmon said that he had never even met the alleged gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan and is not familiar with the alleged gangsters.
Salmon’s lawyer, Kemar Robinson, told THE STAR that he had maintained that his client had been wrongly pointed out by the witness and that the witness had described his client as being dark and thick, while his client is slim and did not live in a board house as the witness had indicated. Robinson had submitted that the prosecution had no evidence to substantiate the charge that his client was a gang member and that, at best, the evidence only supported the charge of him providing a benefit to a criminal organisation. Sykes agreed and added that there was no evidence that Salmon was acting on the instructions of the gang, and, assuming the evidence was true, seems to be an independent supplier with a valuable skill. The prosecution tried to amend the indictment to charge Salmon with knowingly providing a benefit to a criminal organisation. But Sykes refused saying that it would cause severe injustice to Salmon.
A relieved Salmon said that he was glad to be free and lauded Robinson for his work.
“I just want to go home and get back to my family and mi little son,” said Salmon. “It [being in custody] was rough, real rough; cost me more than what I don’t even have. It cost my family and friends a lot.” But he said that he was always confident of being released and always prayed for the outcome. Salmon said that he plans to revive his construction business.
Meanwhile, the prosecution will continue to respond to the no -case submission for 24 of the remaining 28 defendants when the case resumes today.