Tue | Sep 18, 2018

INDECOM says DPP fumbled in 'Kentucky Kid' case

Published:Thursday | October 30, 2014 | 4:53 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is claiming that ineffective prosecution in the matter of the fatal shooting of Robert 'Kentucky Kid' Hill led to the five accused being freed.

They were freed earlier this month after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court it would be impossible to mount a viable case against Corporal Uriel Anderson and Constables Gary Thomas and Norval Warren and the two civilians, Marvia Morgan and Donovan Brown.

But INDECOM has submitted a special report to Parliament outlining concerns about how the case was handled.

In a release this afternoon, INDECOM said the Prosecution’s decision to end the case and allow a formal verdict of not guilty to be entered means there can be no future proceedings against the former defendants without adjudication on evidence.

INDECOM suggests the DPP could have instead ended the matter by entering a nolle prosequi which would not allow the matter to be tried at a later time.

The commission has also ripped into the DPP’s explanation that her office would not be able to counter the self defence claim of the former accused persons because there were no eyewitnesses.

INDECOM says it is of the view that eyewitness evidence is not superior to other evidence and that it is open to a jury to reject this evidence by relying on circumstantial evidence and direct evidence.

It also says there was enough scientific evidence to support the case of the State and that new evidence had emerged during the Coroner’s Inquest which determined that the five individuals should be charged.

INDECOM has recommended to the Parliament that the police officers be subject to internal disciplinary hearings concerning their use of force; alleged false statements; and failure to involve other police officers in the operation in contravention of direct orders from superiors.

It has also recommended that the Solicitor General consider compensating the estate of Robert Hill for the breach of his right to life.

Hill was reportedly killed after three policemen were dispatched by a senior officer to retrieve an illegal firearm from him at Ivy Green Mews on December 8, 2009.

Following a probe into the incident, the DPP ruled that no one should be criminally charged and referred the matter to the Coroner’s Court for an inquest to be carried out into the circumstances surrounding Hill’s death.

In August, a coroner’s jury ruled that all five accused be charged with Hill’s murder.


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