Thu | Oct 29, 2020

Mario Deane trial verdict | Bittersweet moment for Deane’s mom

Published:Friday | July 31, 2020 | 12:23 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Mario Deane’s mom, Mercia Frasier (standing behind banner), is supported by other protesters last year in their call for justice outside the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay, St James.
Mario Deane’s mom, Mercia Frasier (standing behind banner), is supported by other protesters last year in their call for justice outside the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay, St James.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Mercia Frasier, the mother of Mario Deane, is now nursing bittersweet emotions after a judge ruled yesterday that the two men who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in relation to her son’s 2014 death should be released.

“Honestly, I have a mixed feeling. I am kind of happy that the families got the men, but the next thing is that I’m seeing them getting happy, even with tears, and then I know I am not going to see my son again,” Frasier told The Gleaner, moments after High Court Justice Glen Brown made his ruling at the St James Circuit Court.

Brown had ordered that Marvin Orr and Adrian Morgan – who were previously charged with murder but who pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Wednesday – should serve five years and six months in prison. However, having spent six years behind bars since the 2014 incident, he ruled that the men were free to go.

Thirty-one-year-old Deane was brutally beaten on August 3, 2014, while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay for possession of a ganja spliff. He died three days later at the Cornwall Regional Hospital. Orr and Morgan, who were also in custody at the time, were subsequently charged.

A third defendant, Damion Cargill, was judged unfit to plea in July 2017 and released into his family’s care.

BLAMES POLICE

In the meantime, Frasier, who has protested outside the Barnett Street Police Station on August 3 every year since her son’s death, said she is still laying the blame for what happened to her son at the feet of the police.

Frasier said that she would be closely following the upcoming September 21 trial of three police officers – Corporal Elaine Stewart and Constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant – who were arrested following the incident and charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice.

“I am looking at it at all times to say that you know those men are of unsound mind, so it’s like putting a child into a cage with pit bull dogs. The pit bulls eat them, and then you’re going to shoot the dog, and the owner is left there to do it again,” she said. “For me, it just does not feel right.”

editorial@gleanerjm.com