Thu | Oct 29, 2020

Mario Deane murder case hit by yet another delay

Published:Tuesday | July 7, 2020 | 12:24 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

For the seventh consecutive time, the absence of a long-awaited medical psychiatric report has led to a delay in the case against Marvin Orr and Adrian Morgan, the two inmates charged with murder arising from the 2014 death of Mario Deane, who was in the custody of the police at the time of the incident.

As a result of this most recent setback, the case, which was mentioned briefly in the St James Circuit Court yesterday, has been deferred to July 29 by High Court Justice Glen Brown, who is presiding over the case.

During the brief proceedings, Morgan’s lawyer, Franklin Haliburton, told the court that it was unclear as to whether the doctor responsible for preparing the report had done so as the doctor had been overseas for a protracted period. “There were some questions we had penned to the doctor, for clarification, and some files were sent to him, but because he was overseas for a time, I do not know if he had completed what he was to complete,” Haliburton told Justice Brown.

“I have canvassed [held discussions] with the Crown, and we have agreed on July 29 as the next date. We are awaiting the final updated medical report, a psychiatric report, for us to proceed once and for all in this matter, and we are wondering if we can also have a social enquiry report in this matter,” Haliburton added. Orr and Morgan, who are in custody at the Falmouth police lock-up, were not present during yesterday’s mention date.

Yesterday’s court sitting marks the seventh time, since 2019, that the case’s progression to trial has been delayed due to outstanding psychiatric evaluations for Orr and Morgan, who are both mentally challenged. A request for the men’s evaluations was originally made on September 18, 2019, with a deadline set for October 3 and then for November 25 that year.

On January 7, 2020, a report was submitted for Morgan but not for Orr, who is represented by attorney Trevor Ho Lyn. Orr’s outstanding report led to the case being rescheduled to January 27, and then to March 25, before being rescheduled to yesterday’s date.

Mario Deane was brutally beaten on August 3, 2014, while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station, in Montego Bay, for possession of a ganja spliff. Deane died three days later at the Cornwall Regional Hospital. Orr and Morgan, who were also in custody at the Barnett Street lock-up, were subsequently arrested and charged, along with a third inmate, Damion Cargill. In July 2017, Cargill was judged unfit to stand trial and was released into his family’s care.

Three police officers, Corporal Elaine Stewart and Constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant were arrested and charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice, in relation to Deane’s death. They are scheduled to stand trial on September 21.