Mario Deane’s mother relieved trial date is set
Mercia Fraser, the mother of Mario Deane, who died as a result of a brutal beating at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay in 2014, was relieved yesterday when the court ruled that three police officers implicated in his death should stand trial.
Presiding judge Sandria Wong-Small made the ruling on Friday when the implicated police personnel - Corporal Elaine Stewart, as well as District Constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant - appeared before her in the St James Parish Court. They will undergo a committal hearing on Monday for their case to be transferred to the next sitting of the St James Circuit Court in September.
"I am a little nervous and also a little relieved that the case is, at least, going somewhere," said Fraser. "I would rather for it to be finished, but I want it to finish on the right note so that justice is served.
"I came [to court] with an open mind because you never know what can happen, so when the judge said that there is a case, I was a little surprised," added Fraser. "I feel like this case hijacked my life. Everything I do in my life, I have to do surrounding this case because I am not going to miss the court dates. But, today, I am relieved that I can see some form of justice coming out of it," she told The Gleaner.
Attorney Martyn Thomas, who is part of the three cops' defence team, expressed confidence that his clients would be freed by the Circuit Court.
"At this stage, we would not be challenging the judge's ruling, but we are looking forward to dealing with the case at the Circuit Court. The evidence will speak for itself, and I am confident that all the accused persons will be exonerated," said Thomas.
Stewart, Clevon, and Grant are charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice, following allegations that they were on duty at the time when Mario Deane was allegedly beaten by other inmates in a cell at the Barnett Street police lock-up in Montego Bay on August 3, 2014.