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mentally ill man shot 10 times - West Kingston Commission of Enquiry post mortem

Published:Wednesday | October 21, 2015 | 10:00 AMLivern Barrett

A POST-mortem has revealed that a man believed to be mentally ill, who was killed during the May 2010 police-military operations in Tivoli Gardens, was shot 10 times.

Tivoli Gardens resident Lancelot Bailey told the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry yesterday that the man, who he identified as 31-year-old Decorey Wright, was a patient at the Bellevue Hospital and was visiting him from the nearby community of Trench Town.

Bailey charged that Wright, popularly known as 'Ernie', was shot to death by members of the security forces inside his fourth-floor apartment and recounted how he watched hours later as the body was taken out in one of his bed sheets.

The post-mortem report cited by attorney for the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) Lord Anthony Gifford indicated that Wright had gunshot wounds all over his body.

"Shot in the neck, the right chest, the left chest, the abdomen, the kidney region," said Gifford as he read from the report.

in neighbour's house

Bailey recounted that amid heavy gunfire and the sounds of loud explosions, he gave Wright the key to his apartment and told him to stay there as he went to stay with a neighbour on the third floor of the high-rise building where he lived.

He said while he was there, he heard loud music coming from his apartment and went back to tell Wright to turn it off. Bailey said he went back to his neighbour's home and that's when he saw police and soldiers running to his apartment.

During cross-examination by Gifford, the Tivoli Gardens resident testified that he heard "a lot a shots".

"We will be told by the post-mortem that Ernie suffered 10 gunshot wounds. So it could have been up to 10 shots you heard?" the OPD attorney asked.

"I can't say if is 10 or more or less, but I know is a lot a shots," Bailey replied.

He told the commission that when he returned to his apartment days later, there was blood everywhere.

But responding to questions from attorney-at-law Deborah Martin, who is representing the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Bailey acknowledged that he did not see Wright's face or body in the sheet removed from his apartment by soldiers.

shooting of boys

Another Tivoli Gardens resident, Veronica Muirhead, told the commission that she saw when a policeman fatally shot unarmed brothers Fernando and Fabian Grant.

The boys' mother, Marjorie Williams, gave tearful testimony last month about how they were taken from her Dee Cee Avenue home by masked policemen and made to lie down in a neighbour's garden.

Williams said she heard 17-year-old Fernando cry out for her twice to indicate that his brother had been shot to death and that he was about to meet the same fate.

Parts of her evidence were, however, contradicted by Muirhead, who testified that Fernando was killed before his older brother and that the policeman who shot them was not wearing a mask.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com