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Cops in 14-year-old murder case freed

Published:Wednesday | November 18, 2015 | 12:04 PMBarbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

A jury this morning freed three policemen who were on trial for the murders of two brothers in St Andrew 14 years ago. 

Justice Vinette Graham Allen instructed the jurors to return a formal verdict of not guilty after prosecutors cited difficulties in getting sufficient evidence. 

Only one witness, the mother of the deceased brothers, was present this morning for the trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. 

After her testimony, the prosecution indicated that the case is about credibility and they would need the sister of the two men to take the witness stand. 

However, the mother told the court that her daughter is overseas, has no interest in the case and would not be returning to Jamaica.

The prosecutors then told the court that because maintaining the credibility of the case is critical, using her statement alone would not be enough. 

They then offered no further evidence and the judge instructed the jury to free the cops. 

Deputy Superintendent Mevrald Smith, Corporals Byron Anderson and Lorie O'Gilvie and ex-policeman Altimont Shakes were on trial for the murders. 

They were charged recently following a ruling from the Coroner’s Court.

It is alleged that in March 2001 a police team went to a house in Barbican, St Andrew to execute an arrest warrant.

The police team allegedly tried to force the door open after they knocked and got no response, but were greeted with gunfire.

They say they returned the fire and the two brothers were fatally shot.

The police reported that they had recovered a firearm at the scene.