Fri | Jan 22, 2021

King Valley Trial | Attorneys to mount defence, two alleged gangsters walk free

Published:Friday | January 31, 2020 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Attorneys for the six remaining alleged members of the Westmoreland-based King Valley Gang members on trial will on Monday mount defences for their respective clients, following a ruling by trial judge Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, which saw two others walk free.

Sykes yesterday ruled against no-case submissions made on behalf of accused Derval Williams, Rannaldo McKennis, Copeland Sankey, and Christon Grant, even though the Crown conceded to one or two counts that were against some of them.

The no-case submissions made on behalf of Hopeton Sankey and Sean Suckra were, however, upheld as the charges against them were not made out in the evidence presented during the trial, which began on January 14.

Attorneys representing Lindell Powell and Carlington Godfrey did not make no-case submissions.

One behalf of accused Derval Williams, otherwise called Luki, attorney-at-law Oneil Brown contested that the witness’s testimony about his client meeting with another man identified as Evil Boss and showing him a gun was unreliable.

He said that the witness himself did not hear the alleged conversation between his client and ‘Evil Boss’ and further stated that he did not give a description of what he believed was a gun.

Donald Bryan, the attorney for Rannaldo ‘Ratty’ McKennis, took a similar position.

He said the witness’s testimony was discredited and so based on this, his client should not be called upon to answer to gang-related offences.

Attorney-at-law Everton Bird, who represents the acquitted Sankey, in his submission, said the Crown had failed to prove that his client was part of a criminal organisation. He also said that his client was not included in the list of persons the witness named who carried out criminal offences.

Earlier in the proceedings, Sykes raised questions about the absence of witnesses to support some of the allegations brought against the men.

The alleged gang members are on trial for breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act 2014, commonly called the anti-gang legislation, in relation to crimes committed between 2016 and 2018.