Murder conviction overturned for St Ann resident in death of mentally-ill man
A member of a St Ann family who were convicted for stoning and then chopping a mentally-ill man to death has been freed arising from identification evidence.
Dwight Dean, 42, was acquitted of murder on Friday after the Court of Appeal upheld a legal challenge to his 2018 conviction.
He was serving a 20-year prison sentence and was ordered to serve 12 years before he was eligible for parole.
The court has reserved its decision in the appeals filed by his father, Joseph Dean, 74, mother, Velma Dean, 70, and brothers, Richard and Jermain Deans, against their convictions and sentences.
The mentally-ill man, Stanley McLean, 29, was killed following accusations that he stole a piece of electrical cord from the Dean's home in Coltart Grove, St Ann in July 2007.
His frail elderly father, Audley, testified during the trial that he watched as Velma Dean directed two of her sons to stone a house where Stanley went to hide after reportedly stealing the electrical cord.
Late attorney-at-law Ernie Smith, who represented the family during the trial, insisted at the time that the family would challenge verdicts and punishments.
“I am 100 per cent confident that the learned judges of our Court of Appeal will allow the appeal and set aside the convictions and sentences,” he told The Gleaner during a 2018 interview.
Dwight Dean was freed after the panel of three appeal court judges agreed with his attorney Kemar Robinson that the identification evidence was not sufficient for him to be found guilty of murder, in circumstances where he indicated, during the trial, that he was not present when McLean was killed.
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