Mon | Jun 14, 2021

Men in ‘Good Samaritan’ murder case lose appeal, could go to Privy Council

Published:Tuesday | March 2, 2021 | 3:38 PM
The Court of Appeal, in dismissing their appeal, has commended the police for their investigation in the case.

Barbara Gayle, Contributor

The two men who were convicted of the murder of a couple in the case dubbed the “Good Samaritans” have lost their appeal.

The Court of Appeal, in dismissing their appeal, has commended the police for their investigation in the case.

In June 2012, 31-year-old Passmore Millings, also known as Shane Brown, and 32-year-Andre Ennis, a brother of popular entertainer Elephant Man, were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 23-year-old Jhannel Whyte and her boyfriend 24-year-old Taiwo McKenzie. 

The bodies with the throats slashed were found in bushes in Mount Salus, near Smokey Vale, St Andrew on November 9, 2007. 

The men were each ordered to serve 50 years imprisonment before being eligible for parole. 

They later filed an appeal. 

Last month, the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal and ruled that the prosecution’s case against them was very strong and there was no fault with the judge’s summation to the jury. 

The appellate court, in commending the police for a job well done in the investigation, pointed out that “it was good police work, the use of technology and the assistance of an accomplice that allowed the police to put together the case that the prosecution meticulously presented against the applicants.” 

However, the court reduced the parole eligibility to 40 years. 

Reacting to the development, attorney-at-law Nancy Anderson, who represents Ennis, told The Gleaner that the case was likely to go to the United Kingdom Privy Council, Jamaica's final appellate court. 

She stated that one of the grounds of appeal she was looking at in particular was the issue dealing with no corroboration in relation to the evidence of an accomplice.  

Millings is being represented by attorney Robert Fletcher.  

How they were killed

The killing of the couple had sparked public outrage when it was reported that they were only doing a good deed when they were kidnapped and murdered. 

The couple had gone to Havendale, St Andrew to deliver medical supplies to Ennis and another man who were involved in an accident with McKenzie when they were kidnapped and later killed. 

Ennis was riding a motorcycle on November 6, 2007, when it collided with a car driven by McKenzie.   

The motorcycle was damaged and George Cooper, the pillion, suffered injury to his ankle.  

McKenzie took them to hospital and promised to pay for repairs to the motorcycle as well as medical expenses for the injured man. 

The following day Ennis contacted Cooper and told him to arrange for McKenzie to meet him at a particular location with the medication.  

Cooper said Millings forced him at gunpoint to play his part in luring McKenzie to the spot.  

When the couple turned up they were robbed of an ATM card and then led into bushes and killed.  

Video footage had shown Cooper and another man at an ATM with the stolen card. 

Cooper pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to rob and was sentenced in February 2011 to eight years in prison. 

Cooper testified for the prosecution at the trial of Ennis and Millings.  

The men denied the allegations and also said they did not know Cooper. 

Similar fate for mother of deceased

Five years later, attorney-at-law 56-year-old Clover Maxine Graham, who was a University of Technology lecturer, suffered a similar fate to her son Taiwo McKenzie.   

A week after she returned from London, her body with the throat slashed was found on August 19, 2012, in bushes near the Caymanas Polo Club, off Mandela Highway, St Catherine. 

Three men were charged with the murder but two have since decided to testify for the prosecution against the accused, Quron Patterson, a labourer of Gordon Pen, Spanish Town St Catherine.  

The case is set for trial this month in the Home Circuit Court.

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