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Man found guilty 10 years after daylight murder, 23 trial postponements

Published:Thursday | April 7, 2016 | 4:40 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

A St Catherine man was today convicted of murder exactly ten years after he and an accomplice chased and shot another man several times in broad daylight near the old capital, Spanish Town.‎

Christopher Denton shook his head with a quizzical look on his face after the verdict of the seven-member jury was announced in the Home Circuit Court.

He will be sentenced when he returns to court on April 28.

He had been on bail while awaiting trial.

The murder case is among over 120 that have languished in the court system for five years or more.

According to Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, this matter was postponed 23 times.

Evidence led by prosecutor Yanique Gardener-Brown, indicated that shortly before 11 a.m on April 7, 2006, Denton and an accomplice approached Devon Francis along the Thompson Pen main road in the vicinity of A&D Wholesale and opened fire.

The case featured testimony from retired Senior Superintendent of Police Reneto Adams, who said that he was an eyewitness to the killing.

Adams said Francis ran across the busy thoroughfare and was chased by Denton – who he claimed he knew before the incident – and his accomplice.

He testified that Francis fell to the ground and the two men went over him and started firing again.

The retired senior superintendent testified that he pulled his firearm and identified himself as a police officer before challenging them, but said Denton and his accomplice opened fired at him then escaped.

Defence attorney Tom Tavares Finson, who represented Denton, said he had concerns that Adams' statement to investigators was written almost a month after the incident.

Finson also said he was concerned that Adams never told police investigators that he knew Denton before the incident.