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Manslaughter charge for sergeant

Published:Saturday | March 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The policeman, who allegedly shot and killed 18-year-old Hapete Henry, of Arnett Gardens, South St Andrew, 12 years ago, is to face trial for manslaughter.

A coroner's jury handed down the verdict last month that sergeant Calvin Lewis, who was attached to the Mobile Reserve, Harman Barracks, was criminally responsible for Henry's death and should be charged with manslaughter.

Lewis has since been charged with manslaughter and is to appear in the Home Circuit Court on May 23 when the case will be mentioned.

The lobby group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), which has taken a keen interest in the case, said in a statement yesterday that the JFJ was relieved that what had seemed like a never-ending Coroner's Court process was over.

The JFJ said the inquest was initiated in 2000 but had been plagued by problems.

"The case became an example of the backlog and delays plaguing the Coroner's Court and the inefficient system for subpoenaing witnesses and jurors," the JFJ said.

The JFJ is hoping that after the long delay at the Coroner's Court, the matter will be expedited with great efficiency at the Circuit Court level so that Henry's family could get closure.

Henry and his father had gone to the National Stadium to watch a match in April 1998 when he was fatally shot.