Thu | Feb 27, 2020

King Valley Gang Trial| Witness testifies how houses were attacked during manhunt

Published:Friday | January 17, 2020 | 10:35 AM

Nickoy Wilson, Gleaner Writer 

A manhunt by members of the Westmoreland-based King Valley gang culminated in a house being robbed and set ablaze and another shot up, according to a Crown witness.

The incident is said to have occurred in 2015. 

The witness, who is a self-confessed former member of the gang, told the court on Thursday that he and other alleged gang members including Rannaldo “Ratty” McKennis, who is on trial, and men identified as gang leader Tito, who is deceased, Lazarus, Tupac, and Owen went in search for a man called ‘Naah Laugh’. 

At first, the witness said, they went to the home of Naah Laugh’s brother where they kicked in the door and carried out a search of the house.

Subsequently, the witness said, he and Owen took items from the house, which was then set on fire. 

The witness was giving testimony via video link in the trial of alleged King Valley gang members at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

McKennis, Christon Grant, Carlington Godfrey, Lindell Powell, Derval Williams, Hopeton Sankey, Copeland Sankey and Sean Suckra are on trial for various breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) 2014, commonly called the Anti-Gang Legislation, in relation to crimes committed between 2016 and 2018.

The trial is being heard by a judge alone and is being presided over by Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.  

According to the witness, the men then journeyed to the house of Naah Laugh’s mother in the same community. 

Tito, the witness said, instructed him and Lazarus to stay at the entrance of the road to keep watch while the other men went to the house. 

“He said we should stay there so if police ah come we can alert them,” the witness told the court. 

The 23-year-old said he heard a series of gunshots originating from the house and within one hour the men rejoined them at the entrance of the road. 

The witness did not indicate if anyone was killed. 

He is to continue his testimony today.

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