Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Cop put gun in teen's hand before execution by colleague - prosecutor

Published:Monday | July 10, 2017 | 3:17 PMLivern Barrett

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

A prosecutor today revealed that he will present evidence in the murder trial of a former police constable showing how he placed his M-16 rifle in the hands of an 18-year-old boy "and manipulated him to fire it" before the teen was shot and killed by another policeman.

The disclosure by Jeremy Taylor, senior deputy director of public prosecutions, came as former constable Mark Russell went on trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston for the shooting death of Ravin Thompson in July 2007.

The police report at the time said Thompson, who was from the inner-city community of Whitfield Town, was killed in a shoot-out between police and gunmen.

Russell fled the island before the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled that he should be charged and made history when he became the first person extradited from the United States to Jamaica for a criminal offence.

Taylor, in outlining the allegations to the seven-member jury, said Russell and then constable Morris Lee were part of a joint police-military team that was deployed to Whitfield Town to deal with the frequent flare-up violence there.

He charged that the injured teen was placed on the back of a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) vehicle, along with his aunt Andrea Thompson, and was being transported to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

However, he said the prosecution's case will show that on the way to KPH, Andrea Thompson was put off the vehicle along Maxfield Avenue.

According to Taylor, the two constables stopped the vehicle along Darling Street, in the vicinity of the Jamaica Railway Corporation, and had a conversation.

He said the team went to Alexander Road and was confronted by a man who pulled a firearm. 

According to Taylor, a shoot-out ensued and Thompson was later found suffering from gunshot wounds. The prosecutor made it clear the teen was not the man who challenged the security forces.

After the conversation, he charged that Russell and Lee lifted the injured teen from the vehicle and placed him on the sidewalk.

"Constable Russell placed an M-16 in the hands of Mr Thompson and manipulated him to fire that gun," the prosecutor alleged.

Following that Taylor, charged that then constable Lee "fired shots into the body of Mr Thompson".

"The policemen then complained to the soldiers saying 'wha happen, oonu nah come get some a dis'," the prosecutor asserted.