Chief Justice Bryan Sykes was left stunned yesterday at the prosecution’s admission during the Clansman-One Don trial that there was no supporting evidence from the police to corroborate the alleged murder of a man in 2018 in Spanish Town, St Catherine, despite reports that the police had visited the scene.
“Here we are in the 21st century and it is being alleged that a person was shot and killed and he is supposedly lying on the ground for hours and the police arrive and there is no police evidence, no photograph, no scene of crime, nothing to say the body was found,” the judge remarked.
Reputed gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan is alleged to have given the order for the man to be executed after complaining that not enough persons were being killed in the parish. The man was reportedly murdered by defendant Ted Prince in front of a hardware store after he was told by Bryan to “nyam him food.” However, Bryan’s lead lawyer, Lloyd McFarlane, previously argued during his no-case submission that the Crown had not presented sufficient evidence to make a case. His main argument was that no evidence was presented to the court to prove that the man was ever killed.
But the prosecutor, while conceding that the police had not produced any supporting evidence, asked the judge to make the inference that the man was killed on Bryan’s instruction as the witness had indicated that the man was shot and that his body was eventually removed by a van after laying on the ground for a long while. The prosecution also said there was no evidence that a medical team had attended to him. The prosecutor also disclosed that the police had identified the policemen who had processed the scene but they had left the force. But Sykes, who pointed out that the court was not even furnished with the man’s name or a report of his death from a relative, disagreed, while indicating that there is legislation that could have been used to produce documents and get information.
Meanwhile, the Crown, in responding to the no-case submission made on behalf of Bryan’s brother, Kevaughn Green, rubbished arguments made by his lawyers that he was implicated only because of his familial ties. The prosecutor argued that evidence has been presented that Green was a top-tier gang member who gave orders to the dons and took instruction from Bryan to procure guns and ammunition and would delegate who was to “lock” Jones Avenue, the alleged gang’s headquarters. But Sykes cautioned the Crown not to confuse ‘association’ with ‘membership’.
The matter resumes tomorrow when the prosecution will continue to respond to the no-case submissions for 24 of the remaining 28 defendants.