Cops charged in Mario Deane case offered bail
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
The three police officers who are facing multiple charges arising from the beating death of Mario Deane were offered bail when they appeared before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.
Deane, a 31-year-old St James construction worker, died in hospital on Independence Day from a beating sustained three days earlier at the Barnett Street Police Station.
Corporal Elaine Stewart of Cornwall Court; District Constable Juliana Clevon of Bogue Village; and District Constable Marlon Grant of Spring Mount are charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice, arising from the incident.
Stewart, Clevon and Grant were each offered bail in the sum of $400,000 with three sureties. They are to return to court on October 3.
It is alleged that the three police officers were on duty at the Barnett Street Police Station at the time when Mario Deane, who was in custody for being in possession of a ganja spliff, was denied bail and placed in the cell where he was later beaten.
It is further alleged that Stewart gave instructions for the cell where Deane was beaten to be cleaned, before the arrival of investigators from the Independent Commission of Investigations.
In making a bail application for the three officers, attorney-at-law Martyn Thomas, who is representing Grant, but was holding for the attorneys of the other two defendants, said all three were disputing the allegations against them.
"The statements provided to the court do not support the allegations. All three persons deny the allegations before them," Thomas told presiding magistrate Carolyn Tie. "My instructions are that Deane's bail was never refused; he refused to cooperate with the bail process."