Absent witness stalls Mario Deane case
The absence of a witness in the case against the three police personnel who are facing multiple charges arising from the beating death of Mario Deane caused the matter to be deferred to March 13 when it came up for mention in the St James Parish Court Monday.
Corporal Elaine Stewart and District Constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant had their bail extended after presiding judge Sandria Wong-Small was informed that a witness for the prosecution is currently overseas.
"I want to know what is happening here. It is not enough to tell me the witness is overseas," judge Wong-Small said, after being updated about the witness' absence. "I would like to have this matter dealt with speedily. Wherever these persons are, I expect that all steps will be taken to have them here."
The court was also told that the clerk of court, who previously had conduct of the matter, was no longer in the case, and that the new clerk did not have all the files at hand.
Stewart, Clevon, and Grant are charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice. It is alleged that the three defendants were on duty at the time when Mario Deane was beaten in a cell at the Barnett Street Police Station on August 3, 2014. Deane subsequently died in hospital three days later.
It is also alleged that Stewart gave instructions for the cell to be cleaned before the arrival of investigators from the Independent Commission of Investigations.