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Court says man who killed cop acted in self defence

Friday, May 09, 2014    

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A 37-year-old man was yesterday acquitted of a charge of murder in the stabbing death of his brother-in-law, who is a police officer, over a $22,000 loan.

Desmond Bariff, a labourer of Portmore in St Catherine, was set free after the Justice Marva McDonald Bishop instructed the jurors to enter a formal verdict of not guilty in the trial before the St Catherine Circuit Court.

Bariff, the court was told during the trial that started on Wednesday, stabbed Stijan Wood during a dispute at the Portmore home of Wood's family on November 26, 2010.

Evidence was led that the altercation arose out of an argument over an unpaid loan from Bariff to Wood. It was further alleged that the altercation got physical and Wood was stabbed.

Wood's parents reportedly came out the house and saw him bleeding from the chest.

The policeman, who was assigned to the Mobile Reserve, died leaving a son who was one-year-old at the time.

Bariff handed in himself to the police, and told them that he acted in self defence.

Yesterday, after the crown closed its case, attorney Peter Champagnie made a no-case submission, arguing that the it had not been proven that the accused wasn't acting in self defence.

At the end, McDonald Bishop upheld the submission and instructed the 12-member panel of jurors to return a formal verdict of not guilty.

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