Fri | Sep 18, 2020

Inmates plead guilty to manslaughter in Mario Deane case

Published:Wednesday | July 29, 2020 | 4:05 PM
Mario Deane - Contributed photo

Six years after the death of Mario Deane following a beating he received while in police custody, Marvin Orr and Adrian Morgan today pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the St James Circuit Court.

They will be sentenced on Thursday by presiding High Court Justice Glen Brown.

Orr and Morgan, who were also inmates, were charged with murder but both pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

They entered their pleas following discussions between their attorneys and the prosecution.

Morgan’s lawyer Franklin Haliburton noted that the case has received significant international attention because Orr and his clients are both mentally challenged.

“I am distressed that I am standing here before you and yet we do not seem to be any further along in this matter. It is like a blight on the justice system and persons from overseas are watching how we treat persons with mental illness,” Haliburton told Brown.

“What is consistent is that, from the report received, both men have been suffering from some kind of psychiatric illness,” Brown replied, referencing a forensic psychiatric assessment report which was submitted for the men.

The court was told that a social enquiry report for each men is expected to be ready ahead of Thursday’s sentencing hearing.

Orr and Morgan were subsequently remanded.

Mario Deane was brutally beaten on August 3, 2014 while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay.

Deane died three days later at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Orr and Morgan, who were also in custody at the Barnett Street lock-up at the time, were subsequently arrested and charged, along with a third inmate, Damion Cargill.

In July 2017, Cargill was deemed unfit to stand trial and was released into the care of his family.

Three cops, 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.

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