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Men freed of murder charges for second time

Men freed of murder charges for second time


For the second time, Rodney “P2” Roberts and Jason “2B” Henry have been freed of murder charges.

This time, the Lowmans Leeward pair walked away from the Serious Offences Court on Friday, January 9, 2015, after senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche informed the Chief Magistrate,{{more}} Rechanne Browne-Matthias, that he was withdrawing the matter against the two.

Roberts, 25 and Henry, 31, were charged with the murder of Kyle Phillips of Spring, Lowmans Leeward, on May 6, 2014.

After the men made their way out of the courtroom and were embraced by their loved ones outside, Roberts, with a huge grin, told SEARCHLIGHT, “It feels really confident. Who Jah bless, no man curse. We were always confident that we would beat the charge.”

Henry, however, shied away from the media, only stating that he was glad about the outcome.

On January 7, during the preliminary inquiry, Delpesche, after hearing the testimony of only two prosecution witnesses, asked for an adjournment so that he could consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions on a matter pertaining to the case.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Delpesche explained that the evidence adduced by the prosecution would have been their best, but noted that their best was not good enough to make out a prima facie case against the men.

The court heard testimony from surgical pathologist Dr Ronald Child, who testified that Phillips died as a result of multiple gunshot injuries and from Mavis Phillips, the deceased’s mother.

“… It doesn’t make sense you are proceeding with a matter knowing that at the end of the day you can’t meet the threshold,” Delpesche said.

He said, as a prosecutor, one should be able assess the evidence and know that they have a reasonable chance.

“Once you make an assessment and it’s not there, it doesn’t make sense,” Delpesche added.

When the mother of the deceased took the stand on January 7, she gave conflicting stories under oath about what had transpired when her son was shot and killed.

Phillips told the court that she was in her house watching television when she heard what sounded like two gunshots.

She further stated that she made her way on to her porch when she heard a third shot.

“I saw them running, but I only saw them from the side. I see their faces. They been running upright and then they bend down,” an animated Phillips told the court.

Further in her testimony, Phillips suggested that it was Roberts who shot her son, but said she did not know where the shots came from or the exact area where he was shot.

She also stated that she received a telephone calling stating that Kyle had been shot.

“These are people (Roberts and Henry) that I know for years. I know them like the back of my hand,” Phillips said as she folded her fist and forcefully pounded bar of the dock where she was standing.

Additionally, Phillips said she only saw her son’s hat and blood by a gate, and suggested that that was the area where he was shot.

Henry’s counsel, Olin Dennie, told SEARCHLIGHT that he couldn’t see the prosecution going any further because of contradictions in the testimony of Phillips, their key prosecution witness.

“She did not really say anything. On that basis, the Crown really had no choice but to discontinue the case against both defendants. We are happy about that and we always felt that there was no case against them,” he said.

Henry was also represented by counsel Andreas Coombs, while Roberts was represented by Arthur Williams.

On November 4, 2009, both men walked free from the High Court after a 12-member jury unanimously found them not guilty of the murders of Reuben Small, 22, of Lowmans, Javon “John Wayne” Antoine, 20, Layou, and Ralson Omoro Bowens, 21, on August 9, 2007, about 3 p.m.