Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Lawyer's illness 'slows down' case against cops

Published:Thursday | January 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristoper Thomas

The trial of the two police officers who are charged with unlawful wounding, arising from an incident in which a pregnant woman was shot and seriously injured in Montego Bay last year, hit a snag in the Montego Bay Parish Court yesterday after it was revealed that one of the defence lawyers had fallen ill.

Senior Superintendent of Police Anthony Castelle and District Constable Rohan McKenzie had their bails extended until this morning after attorney Stacy-Ann Williams, who is representing McKenzie, informed presiding magistrate Natalie Hart-Hines that Castelle's attorney, Althea Grant, was in Kingston seeking medical attention.

"Because she is not familiar with this side (of the island), she would prefer to go to her doctor in Kingston," Williams said, concerning attorney Grant's absence.

Castelle and McKenzie were arrested and charged on May 18 last year by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) following an incident on January 22, 2016, in which the complainant Janice Hines was shot and injured while she was a passenger in a motor vehicle travelling along the Mount Salem main road in Montego Bay.

According to the allegations, on the day of the incident, the driver of the vehicle, Lenford Grant, was signalled by the police to stop. Grant disobeyed the order and sped off, and the police gave chase.

Shots were fired and Hines, who was pregnant at the time, was hit and sustained serious injury. She was rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where she was admitted in serious but stable condition.

The trial of the two policemen began on Monday, with Grant as the first witness for the prosecution. Hines, who has had a successful delivery since the incident, was expected to give her account of what happened in her anticipated testimony to the court yesterday.