Sun | May 31, 2020

Uchence Wilson gang trial verdict for January next year

Published:Monday | September 23, 2019 | 11:53 AM
File photo

Nickoy Wilson, Gleaner Writer 

Trial judge Chief Justice Bryan Sykes says he will deliver a verdict in the case against reputed gang leader Uchence Wilson and his 17 co-accused by January 8, 2020. 

Sykes announced his decision this morning after defence attorney Jacqueline Cummings, who is representing accused Ricardo Serju, completed her closing arguments in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. 

During the trial, which began on March 4, a total of 37 witnesses testified.

Sixty-one items were entered into evidence, including a witness statement from accused Michael ‘Judge’ Lamonth, pawnshop contracts, cellphone data, car-rental contracts, a rifle, a ballistics report, and cellphones seized from alleged gang members.

Wilson’s passport, which placed him outside of the country when he was said to have participated in one of the alleged robberies, was also admitted into evidence.

The prosecution is relying on accomplice evidence of two witnesses who claim to have been members of the gang.

In their respective testimonies, the two confessed members of the gang told the court that they participated in robberies in St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, St Ann, Trelawny, and St Mary.

They told the court that the criminal organisation would trade in stolen items, particularly electronics, at a pawnshop in the Corporate Area.

In no-case submissions made in July on behalf of the accused, excluding Lamonth, defence attorneys argued that the prosecution had not proven their clients’ involvement in the gang beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, Sykes ruled that only Junior Rose and Shadday Beckford had no case to answer because the prosecution offered no evidence against them.

Days later, Judith Johnson was released after the prosecution indicated that it did not have enough evidence against her.

Tevin Khani, Cornell White, and Tashina Baker were also eventually freed due to a lack of evidence.

Wilson and his 17 alleged cronies are on trial for breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act 2014, commonly known as the Anti-Gang Legislation, between 2015 and 2017.

They are also being tried for breaches of the Firearms Act.

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