Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Corporal recounts chilling discovery of charred remains

Published:Thursday | December 16, 2021 | 12:06 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter

A detective corporal recalled on Tuesday the chilling discovery of two charred remains nestled together while he detailed, in his testimony, the horrific scene that the police observed in New Nursery, St Catherine.

A man and a woman were reportedly shot and killed and their premises firebombed by the One Don Gang.

“How I know they were huddled together? I saw the torso area where the ribs were and I saw the skulls,” the detective recalled.

The police witness testified in the Home Circuit Court on Tuesday that when she went to the scene, she was greeted with the smell of burnt flesh, which she said is similar to the smell of burnt dog.

She said she also saw smoke emanating from the rubble.

According to the witness, she was a part of a team of officers, which included a forensic crime scene officer who visited the scene on September 9.

But on arrival, the scene was already cordoned and several police officers and a large crowd were present, the detective recalled.

While there, the witness said she also observed several spent casings and a five-litre water bottle with liquid on the ground.

The court previously heard from two ex-members of the gang that reputed leader Andre ‘Blackman‘ Bryan had led a team of alleged gangsters to the community in search of Bobo Sparks, who was member of a rival faction of the gang, aligned to reputed leader of the Clansman Gang, Tesha Miller.

The prosecution’s second witness, who claimed he had unwillingly went to the community, testified that he witnessed Bryan and his bodyguard, defendant Tareek James, killing the victims who were found in bed together although they had begged for their lives.

He also testified that after the duo were killed the men had flung bottle bombs in the house, setting it on fire.

The prosecution has identified the victims as St Catherine residents Jermaine Bryan and Cedella Walder on the indictment.

In continuing her evidence, the witness testified that a post-mortem was done at a funeral home where she saw the deceased persons’ mothers who accompanied her to Matilda’s Corner Police Station, where they met with a representative from the forensic laboratory and provided buccal swabs.

Charged twice

Earlier in the trial, a police inspector who had supervised the gang investigation testified under cross-examination that he had first charged Bryan in March 2018 with leadership of a criminal organisation and recruiting an adult in a criminal organisation after the police had raided his apartment and arrested him and his relatives.

But when questioned by Bryan’s lawyer, Lloyd McFarlane, as to what had become of those charges, the officer indicated that the alleged leader is currently answering to those same charges in the present trial.

“Today is one such day,” he said.

McFarlane then asked him if he was aware that his subordinate had charged Bryan in 2019 under the same anti-gang legislation and if the two matters were the same.

The inspector, in reply, said he did not understand but the lawyer told him he too was confused.

“As far as you know, Bryan has been indicted, I need to know what happened to those charges,” he added.

The inspector in response maintained that the matter was still before the court.

When asked by the lawyer why it was necessary for two different policemen to charge his client under the same legislation, the inspector claimed new pieces of information were brought to the police’s attention which was more than what he had.

In the meantime, the inspector who testified that he had turned over the investigation to another detective after meeting with the ex-gang member, denied that up to that point the police had no case against Bryan.

He also disagreed with suggestions from the lawyer that without the testimony of the two former gang members the police would not have a case against the defendants, and that the case is totally dependent on the ex-gangsters’ testimonies.

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 breakaway faction of the Clansman Gang.