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NOT GUILTY

NOT GUILTY

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July 26 will always be remembered as a lucky day for five Rilland Hill men. Hilton Bennette, Maxwell Phillips, Martin Phillips, Kenford Samuel and Samantius Gould/Glasgow walked out of the High Court in Kingstown and greeted the air of freedom for the first time in nearly two years.

They responded with joy and speed when they were given marching orders by Justice Bruce-Lyle Tuesday. {{more}}That brought to an end the near month long trial which began June 29, and endured some adjournments, including the festive carnival season and caution over Tropical Storm Emily.

Most of the trial days were taken up with arguments by defence lawyers Bayliss Frederick, Nicole Sylvester, Kay Bacchus Browne, and Ronald Marks on one hand and Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams. Much of the debate was however carried out in the absence of the 12-member jury to allow questions as to the admissibility of statements by Police from the accused.

Arguments wound up Monday afternoon. But Tuesday morning turned out to be the day of reckoning.

The five accused became more relaxed as Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle’s summation went on. The Judge cited breaches in the way the statements were taken from the accused.

He looked at the investigating officer’s method of using a statement from one accused to extract information from another as “highly irregular.”

For Justice Bruce-Lyle, the caution statements were “inadmissible.”

He therefore asked the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty for the accused.

With that procedure out of the way, it was freedom time for the quintet.

They had been charged for murder in connection with the death of Cameron Arrindell of Park Hill. He was gunned down in the wee hours of August 6, 2003 at a house in Penniston, on the interior South Leeward end of mainland St. Vincent.

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