Judge rules family charged for murdering mentally ill man has case to answer
Justice Carol Lawrence Beswick has ruled that all five persons charged with killing a mentally-ill man in St Ann have a case to answer.
She made the ruling after the attorney for the members of the accused St Ann family cautioned that it would be "unsafe" to leave the case for the consideration of the jury.
Attorney-at-law Ernest Smith made the claim in the Home Circuit Court as he asked Lawrence Beswick to find that prosecutors have not made out a prima facie case against his clients.
But Justice Lawrence Beswick disagreed.
Following her ruling all five accused gave unsworn statements denying any involvement in the death of 29-year-old Stanley McLean, in Coltart Grove, St Ann in 2007.
Sixty-five-year-old Velma Deans, her husband Joseph, and their three adult sons, Jermaine, Dwight and Richard, are on trial for the murder.
Prosecutors Sharon Millwood-Moore and Hodine Williams closed their case after calling seven witnesses.
Among the witnesses were McLean's father, Audley, who testified that he saw Velma Deans stand over his son and use a machete to chop him several times after two of the Deans boys used stones to destroy the door and windows to the house.
He also gave evidence that moments later, he overheard Joseph Deans asking his wife and sons whether they had not yet killed McLean.