Jurors in Tesha Miller trial to undergo poll

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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Prospective jurors who are expected to give a verdict in the pending trial of accused gang leader Tesha Miller are to undergo a poll to avoid any risk of prejudice against the defendant.

The request for the poll was granted following an empanel application in the Home Circuit Court yesterday morning by Miller's attorney Bert Samuels.

According to Samuels, his client does not want a jury to be empanelled without firstly putting questions to them regarding whether they have come to a view about him in regard to adverse publicity.

“The court has agreed that they will poll the jury, and that suggests to me that the court is aware of the adverse publicity, and we are grateful that the application was granted for polling,” Samuels said.

He explained further that under Section 33 (4) of the Juror Act his client has the right to indicate to the court that he wishes to question the jurors before they are selected as a panel. This, he said, is in relation to a claim that was made against a media house earlier this year.

The trial of the St Catherine welder, who has been in custody since last October on a charge of accessory to murder before and after the fact, was initially set for seven days. It is now scheduled to start on Wednesday.

It is alleged that in 2008, Miller gave another alleged member of the gang permission to shoot former Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Chairman Douglas Chambers in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

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 police reports, 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 also alleged that the 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.


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