Policeman freed of manslaughter in wedding-party shooting
Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer
After two trials, a conviction and nearly three years in prison, a police constable has been freed of manslaughter charges.
The Court of Appeal this morning ruled that a verdict of acquittal be entered in the case against police constable Orlando Lamont.
Constable Lamont was convicted of manslaughter after a second trial arising from the death of Arnett Gardens resident Everton Parchment during a traffic stop along Spanish Town Road in St Andrew.
In his first trial, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty for murder, but was unable to reach a decision on the charge of manslaughter.
It was alleged that Lamont discharged his police-issued firearm inside a car that was transporting several persons from a wedding in St Catherine, killing Parchment.
The Court of Appeal, in its written judgement handed down today, said it is clear that the circumstances "do not relate to inadequate evidence presented by the Crown, but to omissions of the learned judge".
"The appellant (Lamont) has undergone the ordeal of two trials through no fault of his own ... even more significant is the fact that he has already served three quarters of the prison sentence imposed on him," the Appeal Court wrote.
"Bearing those factors in mind, we believe it is not in the interest of justice that a new trial be ordered," it added.