Tue | Jun 22, 2021

Infant killer loses appeal

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2021 | 12:20 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter
A man serving a life sentence for the 2013 shooting death of a four-year-old boy has had his appeal tossed.
A man serving a life sentence for the 2013 shooting death of a four-year-old boy has had his appeal tossed.

A man serving a life sentence for the 2013 shooting death of a four-year-old boy in a dispute over a broken pipe in Allman Town, Kingston, has had his appeal tossed last week despite maintaining that he was mistakenly identified as the shooter.

The appeal was dismissed in the High Court on Friday by Justice Frank Williams, Carol Edwards and Vivene Harris, after his attorney, C.J. Mitchell, who had been appointed by the High Court, said he had not found sufficient evidence “to reject the verdict of the jury or to impugn the summation of the learned trial judge”.

Marlon McMillan was found guilty of killing Roshaun Burford and wounding his grandmother in October 2016.

The boy, who, at the time of the incident, was hiding under a bed, received a gunshot wound to the head while his grandmother was shot in the buttocks.

McMillan was sentenced in the Home Circuit Court to life in prison on the murder charge and 15 years in prison for wounding with intent.

Justice David Fraser, who had handed down the sentence, had ordered that McMillan must serve 25 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

Prosecutor Sahai Whittingham Maxwell led evidence that Roshaun died from a gunshot wound to the head after McMillan opened fire at a neighbour in a dispute over a broken water pipe in their Allman Town tenement in 2013.

Grandmother’s statement

The boy’s grandmother had testified that after the dispute McMillan, who she also knows as ‘Chris’, left the yard and returned “with a short gun”, which he pointed towards her brother’s room.

McMillan, who had given an unsworn statement from the prisoner’s dock, admitted that he had been in an argument with neighbours on the morning Burford was killed, but had left his yard after the argument and had not returned that day.

He filed an appeal claiming that there was a lack of evidence linking him to the crime and that he was wrongly identified. He also claimed it was an unfair trial, alleged miscarriage of justice and said that the judge had failed to give adequate direction to the jury regarding the inconsistency and contradictory testimonies by the prosecution witness.

But Mitchell, in a written submission to the Court of Appeal, said that after carefully going through the summation, he found that the judge left all relevant and important issues, including identification and credibility, to the jury in a fair manner and that the judge also gave good character direction.

“The learned trial judge did not deal with the contradictions or inconsistencies that arose from the evidence, but such contradictions and inconsistencies did not affect the root or gravamen of the Crown’s case,” Mitchell added.