Witness tells court he was present when order given to murder former JUTC boss

Witness tells court he was present when order given to murder former JUTC boss

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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A self-styled former member of the Klansman gang turned State witness testified yesterday that he was present at the meeting where Tesha Miller gave instructions to kill former Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Chairman Douglas Chambers in Spanish Town, St Catherine in 2008.

The witness, who is being referred to as Witness One by the Jamaica Observer because of a court order instructing that all witnesses remain anonymous, also testified in the Home Circuit Court that he was standing across from the JUTC depot when Chambers was murdered.

Prior to admitting that he was at the meeting, he told the court that he was charged with murder and is currently at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in downtown Kingston.

During his evidence-in-chief, Witness One, who claimed he knew Miller for 10 years, and whose role was to collect extortion money from taxi operators and businesses to facilitate the running of the gang, said the meeting was held the day before Chambers was killed.

According to the witness, he, along with others — some of whom he could not recall were at the meeting — was instructed by Miller to develop a diversion plan because he was sending someone to kill the “JUTC man”.

Miller's attorney, Bert Samuels, who raised a number of objections during the testimony, said the witness was summarising and that he wanted to hear what his client said exactly.

However, Justice Georgiana Fraser told Samuels that he will have the opportunity to cross-examine the witness.

“We take the witness as we get them,” she said, explaining that she cannot tell the witness how to speak.

During the morning session, Justice Fraser ordered the media to refrain from describing Miller — who is a welder by profession — in ways linking him to the criminal underworld or branding him as the head of any grouping.

Miller is charged with accessory to murder before and after the fact. Chambers was shot dead at the JUTC depot in Spanish Town on June 27, 2008 after he had left a meeting to smoke a cigarette.

According to a police report, two gunmen armed with a high-powered rifle and a .45 handgun shot him repeatedly in the head. The gunmen escaped on foot in foliage on the outskirts of a community known as Fish Ground.

It is alleged that Klansman gang members were displeased that the JUTC chairman was giving extortion money to another gang in the old capital.

In April 2010, Andre Bryan was arrested and charged in connection with the murder after participating in an identification parade.

However, Bryan was acquitted on September 26, 2016 in the said court. The trial will continue today.

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