Wed | Sep 23, 2020

Policeman charged in relation to St Catherine double murder, granted $750,000 bail

Published:Friday | September 21, 2018 | 1:11 PM

A police constable was today arrested and charged with two counts of murder in connection with the shooting death of two men during a traffic stop in St Catherine seven years ago.

According to sources, Constable Michael Lawrence was charged following a ruling by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and surrendered to authorities this morning.

He was immediately placed before the court and granted bail in the sum of $750,000.

Lawrence was ordered to surrender his travel documents and report to the Office of the Police Commissioner three times per week.

A stop order has been placed on him at all ports and the constable is scheduled to return to court on November 29.

Lawrence was charged for the fatal shooting of Richard Ellis and Michael Smith along the Williamsfield main road in Riversdale, St Catherine on March 26, 2011.

Two other men were also injured in the incident.

The police had reported that Constable Lawrence and another cop were performing vehicular checkpoint duties when they signalled the driver of a motor vehicle to stop.

According to the police report, the driver complied and four men exited the vehicle with guns which they pointed at the two cops.

Lawrence and his colleague reported that they opened fire on the men because they feared for their lives.

However, investigators say they have an eyewitness account that contradicts the police report.

According to the eyewitnesses, the four occupants of the motor vehicle were searched and the two cops indicated that guns were found in the car.

The witnesses claimed the men's hands were restrained with handcuffs and strings before the two cops allegedly stood over them "and opened fire at them while they lay on the ground unarmed, defenceless and posing no threat whatsoever to the officers."  

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