Thu | May 23, 2019

Prosecution to present case against Clarendon cops today

Published:Tuesday | November 27, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

A jury comprising three men and four women will today begin hearing witness testimony, as the trial for three members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who are accused of carrying out an unlawful killing continues into its second day at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Detective Corporal Kevin Adams, District Constable Howard Brown and Constable Carl Bucknor are jointly charged with the murder of Andrew Bisson on September 5, 2011 in Hayes, Clarendon.

The trio are among the 13 policemen who were slapped with charges by the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) in 2014 in relation to murders in the parish between 2011 and 2014.


Indictment issue


Yesterday, the trial was adjourned after presiding judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, took issue with the indictment, which had 26 witnesses instead of the 16 indicated last Monday.

When the trial resumed in the afternoon, the seven-member jury was empanelled.

Lead prosecutor, Queen's Counsel Caroline Hay, raised concern as it relates to the publication of the names of civilian witnesses, given the sensitivity of the case. She said the act of using civilian names in the media has a "chilling" effect on them. Justice Sykes, however, said that he would have to give it some thought because the trial is open to the public.

Concerns were also raised by attorney Dwight Reece, who is representing Brown, about the use of certain words in the media, such as 'death squad', to describe the case. The chief justice warned against the use of this type of language.

"Labels are being attached even before a single word has been said; it is not helpful to the process," Sykes said.

Adams is being represented by Valerie Neita-Robertson, and Bucknor by Kenneth Neita Churchill and junior counsel Oshane Cousins.