Sun | Aug 14, 2022

Attorney says murder case against cop lacks foundation

Published:Saturday | August 6, 2022 | 12:10 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter

One of the attorneys representing a policeman implicated in the July murder of a tiler in Red Hills, St Andrew, is insisting that the case against her client is weak. Twenty-nine-year-old Phillip Wallace, of an East Kirkland Heights address, was...

One of the attorneys representing a policeman implicated in the July murder of a tiler in Red Hills, St Andrew, is insisting that the case against her client is weak.

Twenty-nine-year-old Phillip Wallace, of an East Kirkland Heights address, was gunned down about 10 a.m. at a bar on Saturday, July 16.

Valerie Neita-Robertson, QC, who, along with Kimberly Wittacker, represents Constable Purcell Carter, said all the accused cops have good alibis.

“My client was at his house. Nowhere near Red Hills. The landlord was there and came with a technician to check the air condition system. The landlord’s car blocked in his car,” Neita-Robertson told The Gleaner, adding that descriptions of the perpetrators by the witness do not match her client.

Neita-Robertson also said the other cop was on duty and the GPS tracker on the police service vehicle would show whether it went to Red Hills.

“All of that indicate to the judge that the case is weak,” she told The Gleaner.

That other cop, Corporal Miguel Ebanks, is represented by John Jacobs and Courtney Rowe.

A bail application from both legal teams were denied yesterday in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

When contacted, Jacobs would only say the matter was adjourned until September 6.

Ebanks is also charged with two counts of committing an act of corruption.

Neita-Robertson said the judge will review the bail application at the next hearing in a month’s time.

“The judge wanted to ensure that the witness was protected and could not be interfered with … . We also want her to be safe, don’t want anything to happen to her,” the attorney said.

A third policeman was pointed out in an identification parade on Friday after a Corporate Area judge gave cops until 4 p.m. to charge the accused.

GETTINg AFFAIRS IN ORDER

The order was made earlier in the day following a habeas corpus application by the cop’s lawyers, Peter Champagnie and Richard Lynch.

The attorneys contended that the cop had spent a substantial time in custody and that the witness had failed to attend the identification parade on more than one occasion without an explanation.

In granting the order, Judge Leighton Morris said he was giving the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) a final opportunity to get its affairs in order.

Speaking with The Gleaner before news came of the unnamed policeman’s ID parade, Neita-Robertson said that officer, who had recently returned to the island to face his judgement, had the best alibi.

“He was at the at the airport at the time [of the murder],” she said.

The officer is expected to be charged soon.

A witness had alleged that some cops had killed Wallace after a he refused to pay a bribe.

His spouse, who was also targeted, had to run for her life.

The policemen at the centre of the incident had reportedly carried out an operation and held Wallace with a quarter pound of marijuana two days prior.

It is alleged that they demanded $150,000 not to press charges,

Wallace reportedly gave the cops $15,000. However, he was still prosecuted and further asked to pay the remaining sum to prevent the matter from proceeding to court.

A report was then made to the superior of the policemen, who intervened and asked the cops about the allegations, which they denied.

The two policemen were charged as a result of an investigation by INDECOM, with support from the police force and after a ruling by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com