Slain One Don accused turned new leaf – lawyer
The alleged Clansman-One Don gangster who was gunned down in a drive-by attack Wednesday evening had been making positive strides to turn his life around, attorney-at-law Alexander Shaw has said.
Andre Smith, 29, of a Watley Avenue, Kingston 11, address, was shot and killed on Hagley Park Road, St Andrew, some time after 9 p.m.
Alias Bolo, Smith was one of 28 people indicted under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Act and the Firearms Act.
Smith was accused of membership in the notorious St Catherine-based One Don criminal organisation, a splinter from the Clansman Gang, in relation to a murder conspiracy. But his attorney noted that he had been out on bond before the trial even began in September 2021.
While out on bail, Smith had always followed the terms of his bail and reported to court.
Shaw said that Smith had got a job and “was pretty much trying to make good of his life” in earning an income to support himself and his girlfriend.
The attorney said that Smith’s death was unforeseen as his client had not, at any point, expressed any concerns that his life was in danger.
With the trial now in its closing stages, Shaw appeared confident that his client would be cleared, calling the charges against Smith “weak”.
Smith’s family, in particular his mother, is reeling from his death, Shaw said.
“The truth of it all is that it is a very painful time now for her ... . The last nine months have been very difficult, and for it to culminate like this with his death and he is still on trial, it is going to be difficult,” the lawyer said of Smith’s mother.
Reports from the Hunts Bay police are that Smith was driving a motor car along the roadway when two men aboard a motorcycle drove up and opened fire on him.
Smith attempted to drive away but crashed.
He was pronounced dead at hospital.
There was sorrow and anguish as news of his death reached the ears of residents Thursday in nearby Cockburn Pen, where he is well known.
The St Andrew South Police Division, where he was murdered, recorded a 28.4 per cent year-on-year reduction in murders up to August 8.
The division recorded 78 murders compared to 109 in 2021 during the period under review.
Shootings have also declined by 17.6 per cent – from 104 to 84 – since the start of the year.
Nationally, 909 people were murdered up to August 8.
– Asha Wilks and Andre Williams