Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Witness unavailability forces early adjournment

Published:Wednesday | December 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

The unavailability of a handwriting expert yesterday forced the early adjournment of the trial for three Clarendon cops at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The handwriting expert is expected to appear in court to determine the authenticity of three statements allegedly collected from a now-deceased witness, Christian Rhoden, by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

The statements are said to have been collected from Rhoden on September 5, 2011, January 10, 2012, and March 26, 2014.

Lead prosecutor Queen's Counsel Caroline Hay told the court that the witness would be available to the court next Monday.

Hay previously indicated her intention to the court to make a special measures application to have the expert testify via video link, but it has not yet been heard.

Defence attorneys on November 27 objected to the Crown's request to adduce the witness statements into evidence. They argued that the three statements had different signatures.

Presiding judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, agreed with the defence, citing that the difference among the signatures was obvious to his untrained eye.

This prevented the Crown from further questioning INDECOM acting Chief Investigator Owen Wright, who is said to have collected the witness statements.

On Monday, the defence opposed the Crown's application to adduce into evidence affidavits given by accused Detective Corporal Kevin Adams and Constable Carl Bucknor. These affidavits were to have been used in bail applications in 2016.

Justice Sykes has not yet handed down a ruling in relation to the affidavits.

Adams, Bucknor and District Constable Howard Brown are on trial for the September 5, 2011, murder of Andrew Bisson in the Corn Piece district in Hayes, Clarendon.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com