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Moore walks free, Bess to stand trial

Moore walks free, Bess to stand trial


One man walked free, while another was committed to stand trial earlier this week for causing the death of Sherene Clouden on December 8, 2008.{{more}}

Kamal Moore, 21, of Ottley Hall was jointly charged with Atiba Bess, 16, for causing Clouden’s death. She was shot in the head on December 8, 2008, while standing near the public road in the company of two men.

Embraced by a relative, Moore, of Ottley Hall, walked away from the Serious Offences Court a free man on Monday, October 5, after a Chief Magistrate Sonya Young upheld a no-case submission by attorney Grant Connell.

In his no-case submission, Connell stated that there was absolutely no evidence put forward by the prosecution to make out a prima facie case against his client. He said that there was no confession to the crime from Moore and argued that his client was at his home when the crime took place. “The only concrete evidence here is the authority of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to lay the charge,” Connell submitted.

The young counsel further stated that his client has been in prison for over 10 months for a crime he did not commit and submitted that the case come to a “grinding halt” and be dismissed.

Before he entered the no-case submission, Connell questioned investigating officer Inspector Sydney James about the grounds on which Moore was charged. In his response, James said that there was evidence from other witnesses that placed Moore away from his home that night. Magistrate Young then posed the same question to the 28-year police veteran, who in his explanation said that the file was sent to the DPP, who directed that charges be laid against Moore. However, James indicated that he did not just charge Moore because of the instructions given by the DPP, but because there was evidence pointing towards Moore being involved.

As soon as word got out that one of the men charged with the murder of her daughter had been freed, Kenlyn Clouden, who was standing outside the Serious Offences Court, let all her emotions loose. “No, this ain’t right, this just ain’t right…my daughter dead just so and he walk free,” Clouden moaned.

As she banged her hands repeatedly on the walls of the court building, matters got a bit tense in the hallway of the courtroom during an encounter between Clouden and a relative of the freed man. A tussle ensued between Clouden and the woman, during which Clouden accused the woman of pushing her for no reason. The police quickly intervened.

As a car whisked Moore away, Clouden had to be consoled by persons outside the court.

The grieving mother told SEARCHLIGHT that she was not at all happy about the manner in which the case was carried out and still believes that if witnesses were offered more protection by the police, Moore would still have been answering to a murder charge.

However, Atiba Bess was not so lucky. He was committed to stand trial before a judge and jury in the High Court for Clouden’s murder after a no-case submission by attorney Kay Bacchus-Browne did not get the favour of the magistrate.

In Bacchus-Browne’s failed attempt at a no-case submission, she indicated to the court that Bess only made statements after being promised certain things. The prominent attorney also added that the evidence from the statement did not support a crime of murder and that Bess was only acting in self-defense.

Both men had also been charged with wounding Jomo Brudy, who was shot during the same incident that caused Sherene Clouden’s death. They were both cleared of that charge.(KW)