THE foreman in the 'Boulevard' murder case said Thursday that some jurors wanted to acquit all the accused policemen as neither the prosecution's main witness nor former Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields struck them as being credible.
"Mark Shields did not come across as too credible to some of us," the foreman told the Jamaica Observer.
"Those who looked at the facts realised that Mark Shields has a method of pursuing cases but he was warned and criticised in England for it," the foreman added.
A jury of 12 last Wednesday freed Assistant Superintendent Victor Barrett of the murders of Kemar Walters and Oliver Duncan, who were kidnapped from Washington Plaza, on Washington Boulevard, on December 23, 2004. At the same time, the jurors told the court that they were unable to reach a decision as it related to co-accused corporals Louie Lynch and Paul Edwards.
The foreman told the court that seven of the jurors were for Lynch's acquittal, while four said he was guilty. He said one juror abstained from rendering a verdict. As it relates to Edwards, nine of the jurors felt he was guilty, while three felt he was innocent.
Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn has since criticised Justice Horace Marsh for ordering a retrial for both men instead of accepting the split verdict as provided for in the amended Jury Act.
Lynch and Edwards are to return to the Home Circuit on February 8 when a date for the new trial is expected to be set.
Friday, the foreman said that the jurors who wanted to free the accused men were put off by statements attributed to Shields, in that he made offers of not charging Barrett in return for his co-operation, as testified to by Senior Superintendent Dean Taylor under cross-examination.
As it relates to the prosecution's main witness, the foreman said that jurors felt that he made some deal and that he was lying on the other men in order to protect himself.
"The witness was not credible. It seemed as if he had an interest to serve. Some incentive was driving him," said the foreman.
The foreman listed a number of reasons for not believing the main witness, chief among them that another person present at an abandoned premises in Port Royal testified to not hearing Edwards telling the witness that he shot one of the men.
"The prosecution did not prove its case beyond a shadow of a doubt," he said, while noting that the jurors who wanted to convict Lynch and Edwards were doing a lot of speculating during the lengthy and heated deliberation process.