DPP orders probe of 'bailer man'
The nation’s top prosecutor, Paula Llewellyn, has directed that a thorough investigation be conducted after a man admitted yesterday that he used the same land title to secure bail for persons accused of gun crimes, some of whom were not personally known to him.
Llewellyn, acknowledging that the man, identified as Kenneth Walker, broke no laws, said that a police officer has already been assigned to probe his activities.
Law-enforcement authorities stumbled upon Walker’s activities on Wednesday after three men Oshane Coley, Devon Harriott, and Michael Jacobs failed to turn up for court midway their murder trial, which began on Monday.
The three St Catherine men are accused of shooting Craig Lewis 12 times inside his home in December 2009, and Walker stood surety for Harriott’s $300,000 bail.
According to Llewellyn, the middle-aged man visited the Supreme Court building in downtown Kingston and was in the process of using the same land title to stand surety for another accused person when a keen-eyed court employee recognised him as the person who had bailed Harriott.
He was held overnight and taken to court yesterday, where he gave details of his activities and appeared to blame presiding judge Justice Martin Gayle for the men’s disappearance.
Walker claims that the land he uses to stand surety is valued at a “million an odd” dollars and said to Harriott that he had used it to bail three others. Walker told the court that one of the persons he bailed is charged with shooting, while another has been charged with assault.
In the case of Harriott, who is accused of shooting Lewis while on bail in another case, Walker admitted that he did not know him personally. “Is a friend of mine introduce me to him,” he revealed.
“I hope the police are listening and taking notes,” Gayle interjected.
Blaming the judge?
Kenneth Walker appeared to blame Justice Martin Gayle for the actions of Oshane Coley, Devon Harriott, and Michael Jacobs, who are accused of gun crimes, after the judge informed him that he would have to remain in custody until $300,000 was paid over to the State. The men for whom he had stood surety have failed to appear in court.
“You should a tek them into custody once the case a get stiff,” Walker said in reference to Gayle’s ruling on Tuesday that a statement Lewis gave the police before he succumbed to his injuries was admitted into evidence.
“So you blaming me now?” asked Gayle.
“No, but them should a tek them into custody,” he insisted.
Coley, Harriott, and Jacobs had been in custody since they were arrested in 2010 and were granted bail earlier this year.
Gayle has ordered that arrest warrants be issued for them and has ruled that the trial continue in their absence.