Mon | Jul 23, 2018

Police investigator concedes he never visited homes of cops implicated in murder

Published:Tuesday | July 18, 2017 | 4:55 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

A police investigator today admitted that he obtained the addresses for the two policemen implicated in the death of an unarmed teen days after the 2007 shooting incident but never visited any of the locations.

Detective Sergeant Owen Grant also acknowledged that he did not ask for any telephone number for the two cops when he visited the Hunt’s Bay Police Station, where they were assigned.

"When I went to Hunt’s Bay, I was told they were on sick leave,” said Grant, who was giving evidence in the murder trial of former police constable Mark Russell in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Prosecutor Jeremy Taylor has led evidence that Russell placed a police-issued M16 rifle in the hands of 18-year-old Ravin Thompson then took it back before the teen was shot by another constable identified as Morris Lee.

Grant, who was testifying during cross-examination by Russell’s attorney Michael Jordan, said, a day after the incident, he went to the Hunt’s Bay Police Station and was told that the persons involved were "off duty" and so he was not able to speak to them.

He said, days later, investigators got information that Russell and Lee had left the island and this was subsequently confirmed by the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency.

In June 2015, Russell was arrested in New York and sent back to Jamaica, becoming the first person to be extradited to the island from the United States for a criminal offence.

Lee remains on the run.

In the meantime, Grant testified that he visited the scene of the shooting and found a 5.56 calibre spent shell similar to those fired by M16 rifles.

He also recounted observing the post mortem examination of Thompson’s body during which a doctor removed what appeared to be four pieces of bullet fragments.