UPDATE: Why a policeman and his sister killed a taxi-operator
After a four-week trial, police constable Jeffrey Peart and his sister, Roxanne Peart, were today found guilty of the 2012 murder of 47-year-old taxi operator, Delroy Frame.
They were convicted in the St Ann Circuit Court.
The 24-year-old cop and his sister were arrested after the headless body of the taxi operator was discovered in Wild Cane District, in Cave Valley, St. Ann, on May 19, 2012.
READ: FULL STATEMENT FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
The Crown commenced its case on October 22, 2014 and concluded on November 19, 2014, resulting in a conviction for murder in respect of both Jeffrey Peart (police officer) and Roxanne Peart (his sister) who were represented by Attorneys-at-law, Mr Lambert Johnson and Mr Herbert McKenzie respectively.
To prove the Crown’s case, a total of 28 witnesses were called. Both accused persons gave unsworn statements from the dock and called a character witness each. During the trial process, the case experienced a delay in completion due to the illness of one juror for two (2) days. The case lasted four (4) weeks.
Background of Crown’s case
The deceased, Mr. Delroy Frame was a complainant in a case instituted by the Anti-Corruption Branch against Constable Jeffery Peart, who sought to solicit cash amounting to $30,000 from him following a traffic accident between the deceased man’s car and that belonging to Mr. Peart. Subsequently, a sting operation was set up where Mr. Peart was seen collecting the balance of $20,000 from the deceased, resulting in his arrest in April 2012. Following his arrest, Mr. Peart was placed on suspension from the Jamaica Constabulary Force on April 5, 2012; within that same month he purchased a licenced firearm.
On Saturday, May 19, 2012 at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Wild Cane District, the Saint Ann Police received reports of a car that was on fire in the area. Checks were made and the burnt chassis of a station wagon motorcar was discovered. Information revealed that the car belonged to a taxi driver by the name of Delroy Frame of Logwood District in Hanover. A headless body was found approximately one (1) mile away.
Murder of Delroy Frame
The case against Mr. Jeffrey Peart and Miss Roxanne Peart was based primarily on circumstantial evidence and joint enterprise.
The Crown led evidence through call data records to show that Miss Roxanne Peart began calling the deceased from May 17-19, 2012 and was instrumental in luring the deceased to Bohemia, Saint Ann, where his headless body was found. They also showed that both accused persons were in the coverage area of Bohemia where the body was discovered.
The sister of the deceased, now domiciled overseas, identified his body at a post mortem examination, and her statement was tendered into evidence under section 31D (c) of the Evidence Act. The Crown further elicited evidence through DNA analysis of the blood found at the crime scene, in the trunk of the accused girlfriend’s car, and mouth swabs from the parents of the deceased, which revealed that there was a 99.999% chance of linking the headless body to the parents of Mr. Delroy Frame (the deceased).
The written statement of the girlfriend of the accused who was later found dead, was put into evidence pursuant to section 31D of the Evidence Act. In the statement, she affirmed that the accused Jeffery Peart had borrowed her car on the fateful day and returned with his sister in tow. Human blood which was connected to the deceased through DNA analysis was found in the trunk of the car.
The ballistics analysis of spent shells found at the crime scene showed they matched the private firearm purchased by the accused man.
Reliance was also placed on evidence elicited from an eye-witness who knew the accused, Mr. Jeffery Peart from childhood and who saw him in Bohemia, Saint Ann at approximately 8:30 p.m on the night of the incident May 19, 2012.
The trial judge, the Hon. Mr. Justice Courtney Daye, turned the case over to the Jury for their deliberations at approximately 3:15 p.m. on 19 November 2014. After almost three (3) hours, the Jury returned with a verdict of Guilty in respect of both Jeffrey Peart and Roxanne Peart. Sentence of both accused, is set for December 12, 2014.
Commendation is extended to the police officers in Saint Ann and Westmoreland who were involved in the investigation of this matter. This case required a joint investigation by the police officers located in the two parishes. These officers displayed the highest level of professionalism, which led to the successful prosecution of the matter.
Special mention must be made in respect of the following officers – Detective Sergeant Alford Stoddart (the Investigating Officer), Detective Sergeant Michael Moore, Corporal Clinton Grant, Corporal Neil Marston (initial Investigating Officer), Deputy Superintendent Jervis Moore, Deputy Superintendent Carlton Harrisingh (ballistics expert), Detective Constable Glenroy Williams (Scenes of Crime), and Deputy Superintendent Leroy Minott.
Commendation is also extended to the team from the Forensic Lab (Ms Sharon Brydson) re the presentation of the DNA evidence and the Communication Forensic and Cybercrimes Unit (CFCU) at the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID), namely Inspector Warren Wiliams and Constable Maurice Goode, who did an excellent job in presenting the call data analysis of the cell phones assigned to the accused persons. This evidence clearly depicted the accused persons’ movements from Westmoreland to Bohemia in Saint Ann and their return trip between the 19th and 20th days of May, 2012.
Gratitude must be expressed to the Jurors, notwithstanding the challenges of this lengthy trial, they executed their tasks with diligence and were very attentive.
Special commendation must be extended to the prosecutors in this complex matter, Miss Maxine Jackson, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, and Miss Cadeen Barnett, Crown Counsel, who conducted this prosecution with professionalism, courage and great commitment.
Paula V. Llewellyn, QC.
Director of Public Prosecutions
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