News

Brutal murder - Motorist killed

... body thrown from vehicle during test drive on Spur Tree road

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Observer staff reporter sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012    

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SPUR TREE, Manchester — Quick action by cops in the Area Three Police Division (Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth) yesterday resulted in the recovery of two motor cars and a firearm, as well as the apprehension of three men who are prime suspects in the brutal murder of a St Elizabeth motorist who had advertised his car for sale.

The police reported that the dead man, 26-year-old Michael Rochester of Balbee district, St Elizabeth, met the three at Gutters, St Elizabeth, to negotiate the sale of his Toyota motor car.

Rochester reportedly left the area in his motor car with two of the men aboard, heading in the direction of Spur Tree Hill. On reaching a section of the roadway, explosions were heard, and the body was seen being pushed from the motor car. Another car was also observed speeding away from the scene.

The police found Rochester, who had been shot, lying in the roadway. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

As news of the murder, which was apparently committed about 3:23 pm, spread, the police, demonstrating co-ordination and efficiency, held one of the suspects in Spur Tree, Manchester near the deceased man's abandoned car. The other two were intercepted in a car at St Jago Road, Clarendon, where the police said they also found a firearm.

The two cars are now in police custody and the men are being questioned.

Assistant Commissioner of Police for the Division, Derrick Cochrane, expressed satisfaction yesterday evening at how the police from all three parishes in the division worked together.

“No praise can be too high for the tremendous effort of the police personnel involved in accosting these three alleged perpetuators of the murder of Mr Rochester,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Yesterday, the slain man’s father, Guy Rochester, told the Observer that his son had advertised to sell a Toyota Corolla motor car.

He said that yesterday, “some guys came to Gutters” (on the St Elizabeth/Manchester border) from Spanish Town to meet his son about the car.

Guy Rochester said he spoke to his son on the phone just before the incident happened.

“He told me they were going up Spur Tree and they were doing a test drive of the car,” Guy Rochester said.

He said the conversation gave him no clue that his son was in trouble.

“I didn’t pick up any indication that anything was wrong; he rushed the call a little bit, but that is how he was, he would rush (to end phone calls) so I didn’t see anything in that,” said the elder Rochester.

He described his son, who was the father of a one-year-old boy, as a “good, hard-trying youth. Everybody love him. He was never charged by police for anything, never mix up in anything”.

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