Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Police Death Squad Trial | Main witness returns, testifies about ID parade

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2017 | 2:00 AMLivern Barrett

Tempers flared yesterday in the so-called police death squad trial as the main prosecution witness returned to the stand and testified how he pointed out Corporal Roan Morrison as the person who shot and killed a Clarendon man in February 2010.

The witness, whose name is being withheld, was recalled by prosecutors to give evidence about an identification parade he attended at the Constant Spring Police Station in 2014.

But before the Clarendon man was allowed to review the witness statement he gave the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), Morrison's lead attorney, Vincent Wellesley, objected to him using the document to refresh his memory.

"His evidence is that he never gave a statement to INDECOM," Wellesley asserted, explaining the basis for his objection.

However, Justice Jennifer Straw, who is presiding over the trial in the Home Circuit Court, reviewed her notes before indicating that the witness did testify last week about giving a statement to the oversight body in July 2014.

"With respect, My Lady, that is incorrect," Wellesley protested, rising to his feet.

"I am not. Now, Mr Wellesley, sit," Straw ordered.

"All these unnecessary objections ... just wasting judicial time," the High Court judge continued.

"They are not unnecessary, My Lady. I have a duty to protect my client from the Crown," the attorney fired back.

The Clarendon man was allowed to review his statement to INDECOM and recounted that he went to the Constant Spring Police Station on July 11, 2014 and was taken to a room. "They showed me four men sitting on a mattress and I pointed out Mr Morrison," he said.

The witness said before entering the room, he was asked by a policeman if he knew why he was at the station, and he replied, "I am here for an identifying (sic) parade to identify Mr Morrison who killed Phaebian."

Morrison and Constable Collis Brown are on trial for murder and wounding with intent. They were arrested and charged by INDECOM following an incident in May Pen, Clarendon, on February 13, 2010, in which 20-year-old Phaebian Dinnal was shot and killed and another man suffered gunshot wounds.

The main witness is to be cross-examined tomorrow by attorneys for both policemen.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com