Murder case against suspended police officer dropped
A suspended police officer accused of the murder of a 50-year-old security guard has been discharged for this offence, leaving his three other co-accused to possibly face a jury at the High Court.
Wednesday, July 1 saw the end to a lengthy preliminary inquiry examining the prosecution’s evidence against accused men: Ettian Charles, Glenville Harry, Ulric “Chucky” Hanson and Jerome Ollivierre.
These four men were previously charged that they did, with malice aforethought cause the death of Rodney George of Victoria Village. The incident allegedly occurred between August 31, and September 1, 2018.
The security guard, who was stabbed about his neck, met his death on the premises of GEC Auto Supplied Ltd where he was working.
The four are also charged that they did, on the same date and in the same place (Villa), enter the GEC Auto Supplies Ltd as a trespasser and steal $2,000.74 in cash, the property of Gevandeon Wilson of Villa/United States of America.
At the end of the prosecution’s case, presented by Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche, three of the four accused made “no case” submissions asserting that there wasn’t evidence presented against them capable of forming a prima facie case against them for murder.
Lawyer for Charles in this matter, Grant Connell was one of these three. After reading a legal authority on joint enterprise, he stated that his client could not be included in this. He also noted that no evidence has been presented against Charles, and that he had no case to answer when it comes to murder.
The Senior Prosecutor conceded to this submission by Connell and as such Charles was discharged for this charge.
In the case of Ollivierre, who is being represented by Bruce Law Chambers, they conceded to the prosecution and did not make a no case submission.
Hanson, unrepresented, effectively made a no case submission, noting “I’m here innocent, I don’t have any knowledge,” of the incident.
Finally, counsel Vynnette Frederick, in making a no case submission on the murder charge for Harry, indicated that the only piece of evidence against her client was contradicted by the same person from which it was offered.
“…There is no evidence of anything that transpired between Glenville Harry and the deceased man. There is no independent evidence whatsoever,” Frederick submitted. She also said there was no evidence of a group attack or of a plan.
The counsel pointed out that the prosecution never charged all of the men with conspiracy to murder.
“We are saying that the evidence is so tenuous, so threadbare, there is nothing independent,” the lawyer stated.
The prosecutor in responding, summarized that they had led evidence from various witnesses, as well as the electronic interviews of the accused men. He also mentioned evidence from an important witness which he called “striking”. This striking evidence was corroborated by another witness, Delplesche revised.
From what was raised in the evidence of these witnesses, the prosecution submitted, “Those at this juncture are issues that need to be put before a jury where there is a trial, and those matters should be ventilated there.”
He admitted that they do not have any direct evidence, “But from the evidence we have, I am submitting to you, your honour that we have enough circumstantial evidence for the inference to be reasonably drawn that the deceased met his death via the accused.”
Next Wednesday, July 8, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett will deliver his decision on whether the three remaining accused will stand trial at the High Court for murder, and whether the four will stand trial for burglary.
The issue of bail for Charles is also something that will be considered again. One of the considerations in this case is whether the suspended police officer has already sought bail from the High Court.
Prior to being charged with this murder and burglary, Charles, Hanson and Harry received unrelated wounding and robbery charges. Charles was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.