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Court frees 'Gummy Bear'

Paul Henry

Friday, April 19, 2013    

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COLLIN Mann, the West Kingston resident said to be a lieutenant of former Tivoli Gardens don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, was yesterday freed of gun-related charges.

Mann, who is also called 'Gummy Bear', was slapped with shooting and gun-related charges stemming from allegations that he fired at the police at the Denham Town Police Station in May 2010 when the security forces conducted an operation in Tivoli Gardens to arrest Coke, who was wanted by the United States Government.

Mann was freed in the High Court Division of the Gun Court by Justice Marjorie Cole-Smith on a no-case submission from his legal team of Tom and Chris Tavares-Finson.

The no-case submission followed the end of the prosecution's case which reportedly saw a number of discrepancies being brought out under cross-examination.

Two of the police witnesses reportedly gave conflicting evidence as to Mann's location at the station during the shooting incident. Additionally, another police officer reportedly testified that Mann was 60 to 70 feet away from the station.

During the no-case submission, Mann's legal team said that the distance would pose a problem of identification for the police under the circumstance.

Still, Mann is not off the hook. He's awaiting trial on a charge of murder in relation to the remains of a police officer found in an overgrowth area behind Tivoli Gardens after the May 2010 operation. Mann, who is currently on bail, is charged along with others in that case.

The security forces launched the operation after gunmen loyal to Coke, and who were trying to prevent his arrest, attacked police and soldiers without provocation and torched the Hannah Town and Darling Street police stations. They also set fire to a section of Coronation Market.

Coke, who fled during the fighting, was eventually captured and extradited to the United States. He is currently serving a 23-year sentence after pleading guilty to criminal charges.

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