Lawyer absence stalls Mario Deane case
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:The absence of one of the attorneys representing the three police officers who are facing multiple charges arising from last August's beating death of Mario Deane, forced the matter to be deferred from yesterday's scheduled sitting until February 26.
Corporal Elaine Stewart, District Constable Juliana Clevon, and District Constable Marlon Grant are before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on charges of manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice.
The three officers were given the new date after Clerk of the Court Natalie Malcolm told presiding magistrate Natalie Hart-Hines that one of the defence attorneys was ill.
"I am in receipt of a letter from Mr Martyn Thomas (who is representing Grant). He is unwell and is unable to attend court," said Malcolm. "What I propose is for another date to be set."
Hart-Hines subsequently extended the three cops' bails until February 26.
The trio were charged after Deane, a 31-year-old construction worker, died in hospital on August 6, 2014, after sustaining injuries from a beating he received while he was in custody at the Barnett Street lock-up three days earlier.
It is alleged that the three police officers were on duty at the Barnett Street Police Station at the time when Deane was denied bail and placed in the cell, where he was later beaten. Deane was arrested for the possession of a ganja spliff.
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.