Mon | Sep 25, 2023

Clansman Gang Trial | Crime-scene photos, other evidence vanish, court told

Published:Wednesday | January 26, 2022 | 12:11 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter

A police witness in the Clansman-One Don Gang trial disclosed in testimony on Tuesday that photographs taken at a murder scene on Chancery Street in northwest St Andrew in August 2017 could not be located.

The crime-scene investigator further revealed in the Home Circuit Court that the hard drive on which the photographs were downloaded had developed a problem and that the backup storage system had been reformatted.

The photographs were of the murder scene where a supermarket worker, Damaine Forrester, otherwise called ‘Doolie’, was reportedly gunned down by members of the One Don Gang because of his alleged association with the Tesha Miller-led faction of the Clansman Gang.

The detective constable testified that after she had photographed the murder scene, she returned and downloaded it on an external drive and on the backup system and had also placed them on a compact disc (CD) which she handed to the officer who was collecting statements in the case.

“Where is the CD now?” Chief Justice Bryan Sykes asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied, a response which was echoed by the prosecutor.

The witness then explained that she could not recall the name of the policeman to whom she had given the CD.

Furthermore, she added: “The book that those persons normally sign in has disappeared.”

“The book is gone, the CD is gone, the hard drive is damaged. So they didn’t have a backup?” the judge asked while looking puzzled as some defendants chuckled in the dock.

It was then that the officer responded that the photograph in digital archives had been replaced by other photographs because of a lack of storage capacity.

“It does not hold a lot, so at some point it reformats,” she said.

When questioned about the SD (secure digital) card that had the photographs, the officer similarly revealed that it was used to secure other pictures.

“We reformat it and replace what was on it,” the witness said.

The judge, after listening to her explanation, remarked, “This is a serious matter.

“Then suppose you need the photographs to solve a murder or to exonerate a person. This should not be happening in the 21st century,” he said.

The cop, in the meantime, testified that she had collected blood samples and nine 9mm spent casings from the crime scene.

A top-tier former member of the gang had testified that reputed leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan had ordered the man’s death, but that two unsuccessful attempts had been made on his life before his demise.

According to the witness, the man was killed, allegedly by a member of the gang called ‘Suss’, who, after waylaying the man with cronies, ran up to him from behind and shot him in the head.

Bryan and 32 other alleged gang members are being tried on an indictment with 25 counts under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Act and the Firearms Act.

The One Don Gang is a splinter of the Clansman Gang.

The trial continues today.