D-Day nears for three cops in murder trial
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
Supreme Court judge Horace Marsh began his summation yesterday afternoon to the 12-member jury at the trial of the three policemen who are charged with the murder of two men.
The men, Kemar Walters and Oliver Duncan, were taken away from a plaza on Washington Boulevard in St Andrew on December 23, 2004.
The trial began on October 29 last year and Marsh, at the beginning of his summation, thanked the jurors for sitting for such a long time.
The trial has set back the closure of the Michaelmas session of the Home Circuit Court, which should have taken place on December 21 for the new session to open on January 7.
Corporals Paul Edwards and Louie Lynch and Assistant Superintendent Victor Barrett are charged with the murder of the two men.
The Crown's main witness, a former policeman, has testified that Edwards told him that the men were shot and killed. Barrett is accused of covering up the incident after a report was made to him.
The accused men, in unsworn statements from the dock, said they are innocent.
Marsh told the jury that they should decide the case only on what has been placed before them and to assess it only on what they have heard in the courtroom.
He pointed out that the accused men had a legal right to give their statements from the dock and told the jury that it could not be used negatively against them.
Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dirk Harrison, in completing his address, told the jury that the policemen crossed the line and breached the motto of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, 'To Serve, Protect and Reassure'.
Harrison further said that the men were treated unfairly and did not deserve to lose their lives.
Defence lawyer Valerie Neita-Robertson described the prosecution's main witness as being clever as a fox and asked the jury not to be outfoxed by him. She described the witness as the mastermind behind the plot and asked the jury to find that when he said he went up to Wareika Hills on December 23, 2004, he went there to dispose of the bodies. She described him as untruthful and said he was a person who would do anything to get out of the situation he was in after he was taken into custody in connection with the disappearance of the men.
In his address to the jury, Queen's Counsel Churchill Neita, who is representing Barrett, described the witness as a modern-day Ananias and pointed out that his testimony was saturated with falsehood. Neita said the former deputy commissioner of police was the man who sided with the main witness in a dark and damnable conspiracy against the accused men. He called on the jury to free the men and let justice prevail.