Tue | Dec 18, 2018

Shineka Gray murder accused wants trial outside St James

Published:Tuesday | November 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Shineka Gray

WESTERN BUREAU:

Gregory Roberts, one of the two men charged with murder in relation to last year's stabbing death of schoolgirl Shineka Gray, will have to wait until November 26 to hear whether his request to be tried outside the parish of St James will be granted.

Roberts was given the new court date and remanded when he and his co-defendant, Mario Morrison, appeared in the St James Circuit Court yesterday. Morrison was also remanded.

During yesterday's court sitting, Roberts' attorney, Chumu Parris, made an oral application on his behalf before presiding High Court Justice Glen Brown for the defendants' trial to be held outside St James, as Roberts had reportedly been threatened while in police custody.

"My Lord, I've been instructed to make an application as to the venue for trial, as to whether St James would be the appropriate venue to hear the matter due to the pretrial publicity. Mr Roberts has said he has received death threats from members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force since he's been down by the Freeport Police Station," said Parris.

"Mr Parris, I have nothing to say to that. If they kill him, somebody will take responsibility. You put the application in writing," Justice Brown replied coolly.

The case was eventually set for mention on November 26, at which time the application for change of trial venue will again be made.

Roberts and Morrison were arrested and charged with Shineka Gray's murder after the body of the 15-year-old schoolgirl was found with multiple stab wounds in bushes in Irwin, St James, on February 1, 2017.

Gray, who was a grade 10 student at Green Pond High School in St James, was last seen alive in Montego Bay on her way home from the funeral of a schoolmate. She was subsequently reported missing after she failed to return home, and her body was found three days later.