MoBay kidnapping trial starts today
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
The trial of the four people who were arrested and charged in last year's much-publicised kidnapping of a child at the Mount Alvernia Preparatory School in St James will begin in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court today.
The accused are Jonathan Mitchell, a 23-year-old cabinet-maker of Spaldings, Clarendon; Trevon Tomlinson, a 22-year-old barber of Cornwall Courts in Montego Bay; Jenise Regisford, a 26-year-old counsellor of Bloomfield, Connecticut, in the United States and Cornwall Courts in Montego Bay; and a 16-year-old boy of Paradise, Montego Bay.
Nineteen witnesses - including the child's father, the investigating officer and members of the school community - are expected to give testimony during the trial. Additionally, copies of the school's surveillance tapes of the day of the incident are to be presented as evidence in court.
The trial was initially slated to begin on March 2, but was put off because only two of the 19 witnesses were present in court on that day. The delay also gave Resident Magistrate Wilson Smith additional time to peruse the case file.
The child was reportedly snatched from the school compound on the afternoon of May 3, 2011 while waiting to be picked up by his parents. He was reportedly ushered into a motor car which then sped away.
With the help of information provided by eyewitnesses, the police picked up the trail of the car used in the kidnapping and followed it to Manchester, where the child was rescued. The four accused were subsequently arrested and charged.
Mitchell is represented by attorney Petrona Wallock; Tomlinson by Adrian Dayes; Regisford by Martyn Thomas; and the minor by Albert Morgan.