DAVID Gordon and his brother Worthsworth were yesterday acquitted of the murder of David's estranged wife and television personality Christine Hewitt.
Both men left the St Catherine Circuit Court in Spanish Town elated after Justice Leighton Pusey instructed the panel of 12 jurors to return a formal verdict of not guilty.
Pusey's instruction to the jury came after he informed them that the prosecution had not satisfied the ingredients, in law, to establish that a murder had been committed.
"We don't know if the vehicle caught fire on accident or [if it was] deliberately [set ablaze]," Pusey said.
In dismissing the men, Pusey told Worthsworth that there was no reason for him to have been charged in the first place. He told David that the prosecution did not prove its case against him.
Both men were a picture of elation outside of court as they thanked their attorneys (Michael Deans for David and Pierre Rogers for Worthsworth), the judge, and jury.
At the same time, Gordon told reporters that he didn't kill his wife and that he wanted to know what the police will be doing to catch the person or persons who did. "It was terror being accused of my wife's murder," Gordon said. "I would never have done this thing."
Both men have said that the accusation has brought them close to ruin.
"Why they had us here for these past three weeks?" asked Worthsworth.
Pusey's decision not to put the matter to the jurors for deliberation came after the prosecution concluded its case.
Hewitt's charred remains were found in her burnt-out Toyota Noah minibus in the Freedom district of St Catherine on June 29, 2006. The Gordon brothers were arrested three years later and charged.
Their trial started on September 24. The prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence, which included call data and cell site analysis which, it hoped, would pin the men to Hewitt's murder.
But the prosecution's biggest piece of evidence — a cell site analysis which it had hoped would have tied the Gordons to the location where Hewitt's body was found — was contradicted by lead investigator Deputy Superintendent Paul Thomas under cross-examination.
Deputy Superintendent Thomas had testified that Freedom, the actual area where the body was found, is 17 to 18 kilometres away from Shenton, the area where the prosecution's expert witness placed the cellphones of Hewitt, Gordon and another person. The expert had said that the body was found in Shenton district.
The prosecution had hoped to show from call data that David Gordon had lied about his whereabouts around the time Hewitt is suspected to have been killed.
Yesterday, Deans, speaking for himself and Rogers, hailed the verdict, saying that "this shows that the judicial system works and that the judges are of the highest calibre, which Justice Pusey exemplified in his application of the law".
After instructing the jurors to return the formal verdict of not guilty, Justice Pusey commended prosecutor Sanchia Burrell's handling of the case, which he said was a challenging one.
However, he had some criticism of the way things are done in our jurisdiction.
Pusey said co-operation is needed at an early stage between the prosecution and the police when investigations are being conducted into cases, especially of this kind.
He said cases must be assessed as quickly as possible and that a murder case should not come before the court until the prosecution has assessed and ensure that all possible elements are present.
As it relates to the investigation of the present case, Pusey said that too many people were involved in the matter.