Fri | Jul 10, 2020

Murder accused appealing judge's decision to proceed with retrial after 13-year wait

Published:Thursday | May 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The four men who have waited more than a decade for a second murder trial have challenged the decision of a High Court judge to proceed with the hearing. 

Kimarley Cooper, Carlos Howard, Leslie Nugent and Damion Crossdale were set to go on trial in the Home Circuit Court today for the December 2001 shooting death of Delroy Lawrence.

Yesterday, Justice Courtney Daye ruled that the trial should commence after dismissing the men's application to have the case permanently halted on the grounds that their constitutional right to a fair trial within a reasonable time has been breached.

But this morning, before the trial could start in the Home Circuit Court, the men's attorneys informed Justice Daye that they plan to challenge his ruling before the Court of Appeal.

The trial has been adjourned until 2 o'clock today when Daye will hear legal arguments from the men's lawyers to support their application for leave to take their case to the nation's second highest court.

Cooper, Howard, Nugent and Crossdale were arrested and charged in 2002 for allegedly shooting Lawrence to death as he walked with his mother in Franklyn Town, in east Kingston.

Their first trial in 2005 ended with a hung jury and a re-trial was ordered.

The men have complained that during the 13-year wait for their second trial, at least three witnesses, including a police investigator and a woman critical to their defence, have died while others are not available.  

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