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Cops grilled in connection with murders

Published:Tuesday | January 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Constable Richie Martin, one of nine men on the St James police most-wanted list, was grilled for hours at the Freeport Police Station yesterday in connection with murders and arson.

The constable, who is at present on suspension from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), was questioned in the presence of his attorney for approximately six hours and later released.

Assistant commissioner in charge of the Area One Police Division, Denver Frater, confirmed with The Gleaner yesterday afternoon that the interview did take place and that it was a lengthy one.

"Constable Martin was cooperative during the interview and investigations continue," said Frater.

And yesterday afternoon, Detective Superintendent Clinton Laing, the officer in charge of crime for Area One, confirmed that ex-constable Omar Gordon had turned himself in to the Freeport police and was being questioned by detectives in the presence of his lawyer.

Up to press time last evening, Gordon's interviewing session had not been concluded.

Constable Martin turned himself in to the Freeport police Sunday afternoon after the Area One Police High Command released his identity as a person of interest in connection with the gruesome murder of Cecilia Sawyers-Coke and the murder of Jonathan Bailey.

Seven other men's identities were also released in connection with the murders.

Houses burnt

Sawyers-Coke, 38, vendor of Salt Spring, St James, was shot more than 30 times last Wednesday when gunmen invaded a party at McGhee Top in the district. The gunmen burnt six houses.

Bailey, 23, was found dead about a mile away at Buck-Toe Lane hours later.

Martin and Gordon had been branded by the police hierarchy as being connected to the notorious Stone Crusher gang, which is responsible for multiple murders and other criminal activities committed across St James.

The others persons of interest are André Pinnock, (others known only by their aliases), 'Dutch', 'Winter Fresh', 'Jerome' also known as 'Hico', 'Dave', 'Pop Corn' and 'Corn Flakes' - all of whom frequent Delacree Park and Tivoli Gardens in Kingston, Glendevon, Salt Spring, Lammie Lane, Buck-Toe Lane, Cottage, McGhee Top, Bird Hill, Flower Hill, Plum in Cambridge, St James, and Bethel Town, Westmoreland.