New court date for cops in Mario Deane case
The preliminary examination in the case against three police officers who are facing multiple charges arising from last August's beating death of St James construction worker Mario Deane has been deferred until December 7, following their latest appearance in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Corporal Elaine Stewart, District Constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant are charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice. Their bails were extended after Clerk of the Court Yanique Henry told presiding magistrate Sandria Wong-Small that checks of the prisoner cells where the incident reportedly took place were still ongoing.
"Some checks were to be made at the cells where certain prisoners were being held at the time of the incident. Those checks are still ongoing, and as such, the prosecution would not be in a position to begin the preliminary enquiry today," said Henry.
Application for final date
Attorney-at-law Lennox Gayle, who is representing Clevon, made an application for a final date to be set so the prosecution could finalise its case.
"We are asking for an early final date for the Crown to put forward what it has, if it has anything. These persons (defendants) have been coming to court, and the Crown's application has been the same," attorney Gayle complained.
"I am going to give the prosecution a sufficiently long time to get their house in order once and for all," RM Wong-Small replied before extending the defendants' bails to December 7.
The three police officers were charged after Mario Deane, who was 31 years old at the time of the incident, died in hospital on August 6, 2014, after sustaining injuries from a beating he received while he was in the Barnett Street lock-up three days earlier.
It is alleged that the three police personnel were on duty at the Barnett Street Police Station at the time when Deane was denied bail and placed in the cell where he was later beaten. Deane had been held for a ganja spliff.
It is further alleged that Stewart gave instructions for the cell where Deane was beaten to be cleaned before the arrival of investigators from the Independent Commission of Investigations.