Mon | Nov 23, 2020

Murder convict to get damages for drawn-out case

Published:Saturday | June 1, 2019 | 12:19 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Staff Reporter

A man who was awarded damages and requested a $30-million payout from the Government after he languished in jail for nearly six years while his case crawled through the court system has been convicted on two counts of murder.

Mervin Cameron was yesterday found guilty of the brutal 2012 killing of Barrington Davis, then deputy chief of security at Jamaica Post, and his female friend, Patricia Lumont-Barnswell.

The unanimous verdict was handed down in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

He is to be sentenced on June 28.

Davis and Lumont-Barnswell were kidnapped from his home in St John’s Heights, St Catherine, in August 2012.

Their decomposed bodies were found with multiple gunshot wounds in a cane field in Innswood, also in St Catherine.

Seven months later, in April 2013, Cameron and another man, Christopher Wilson, were arrested and charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal possession of firearm, and robbery.

COURT PROCEEDINGS

They were apprehended by detectives from the St Catherine Major Investigation Task Force, who were led to them by the persons to whom they had sold Davis’ car.

The verdict follows a slew of legal challenges mounted by Cameron to prevent his case from going to trial.

Court records show that after he was arrested and charged in March 2013, he was placed before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court the following year for a preliminary enquiry.

The enquiry commenced but stalled in October 2016, the records show.

As a result, Cameron, through his attorney, Hugh Wildman, went to the Constitutional Court to have the case stayed on the grounds that his right to a fair trial within a reasonable time had been violated.

The court, in a landmark two-to-one majority ruling handed down last year, found that his constitutional right had been violated and awarded him damage, but ordered prosecutors to proceed with his trial swiftly.

In arguments presented to the court when the case came up for assessment of damages Cameron requested compensation of $30 million.

Last September, the Constitutional Court put off making an award in the case, pending the outcome of Cameron’s murder trial.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com