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News

Mandeville soldier on trial for murder

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Observer Staff Reporter

Friday, October 19, 2012 | 2:38 PM    

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Mandeville, Manchester — Bernard Ballentine, a soldier who is on trial for the murder of 23-year-old social work student Shannel Norris, takes the stand in the Mandeville Residents Magistrate Court today.

Ballentine, also known as Carl, was assigned to the Jamaica Defence Force Camp on Manchester Road in Mandeville.

Allegations are that on August 11, 2010 Ballentine was seen running towards the camp saying that he was held up and robbed.

He reportedly had a knife, his car keys and a rag wrapped around his hand, which was used to cover a wound on his finger.

It is alleged that he tried to take a gun from one of the soldiers. When he was unsuccessful he begged that they shoot him as he could afford to go to prison.

The police reportedly arrived on the scene at Hart Road close to the camp shortly after. 

Ballentine’s car was found locked with Norris’ body in a reclining position in the passenger seat with her throat slashed.

A post-mortem report from court documents showed that Norris also had other wounds.

Police reports are that the early-evening incident happened after an argument that the couple had while travelling in the car together.

Ballentine has been on trial since Wednesday, October 10. 

The middle-age reserve soldier who was out on bail, was placed back in custody Thursday.

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