Wilson fired at cops, escaped in gully, says witness

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

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Reputed leader of the Uchence “Terrence” Wilson Gang reportedly fired at the police before escaping via a gully when the cops went to execute a warrant for his arrest at his home in Mary Land, St Catherine, in 2017.

A sergeant who was a member of the police team taken to the location by Stephenson “Slim” Bennett, one of Wilson's associates, yesterday testified to that effect during the trial in the Home Circuit Court.

He said he had held on to Wilson's shirt twice but lost his grip.

The policeman said that when they arrested Bennett he offered to take the police to Wilson's house, which they did on August 9, 2017 in Bennett's car. When they arrived, they shouted out “Terrence” and someone told them to turn the car around and return.

The witness said that upon turning the car around, they saw a man by the side of the road who Bennett identified as Wilson. He said further that he alighted the vehicle, shouted “police!” and tried to hold on to Wilson, but the accused stepped back, freed himself, pulled his firearm, and fired a few shots before taking off.

“When he was running down the road, he was firing behind him and I took cover and discharged two rounds in his direction,” the officer testified, noting that he did not know if Wilson had been hit.

Two officers pursued Wilson, the witness said next, but he jumped down a gully and escaped.

Following that, the officer said he pointed Wilson out in a September 4 identification parade at Greater Portmore Police Station and he was subsequently arrested.

The sergeant further told the court yesterday that on November 3, 2017 he went on an 'operation' in Crofts Hill, Clarendon, which Wilson arranged.

He said they stopped at a construction site where Wilson identified an alleged gang member, Odeen “Brinks” Smith. They called him over and invited him to sit in the front seat, directly in front of Wilson who had been in the back, the policeman said. “Brinks” reportedly complied.

According to the policeman, Wilson instructed Smith to hand over two Glock pistols, which he denied having.

“Mi nuh know weh yuh a talk bout breda,” the witness recalled Smith saying before offering that Bennett had sold the guns to someone in Montego Bay, St James.

The sergeant said Wilson also told Smith to produce a rifle, which he again denied having, prompting the reputed gang leader to remind him that it was he who had brought it to him.

The witness said Smith, after going back and forth with Wilson, later told them that he had hidden the gun and led them to a forested location, but the gun was not found.

According to the sergeant, after the unsuccessful search, they left Smith behind and returned to Kingston with Wilson, whose conversation with Smith had been recorded.

During cross-examination, lead attorney for Wilson, Lloyd McFarland, suggested that the witness had pointed the gun at his client and fired when he went to Wilson's home, but this was denied.

The lawyer then asked the witness if he was aware that Wilson had been shot in the right arm and would be unable to retaliate, but the witness said he was not aware of that.

The lawyer also asked the police if he had heard promises being made to Smith that he would escape trouble if he assisted the police in finding the firearm, but he said no.

Smith's lawyer, Sasha-Gay Shaw, during her cross-examination of the witness suggested that he had lied about her client telling him about hiding firearms.

She then asked the witness whether he had told her client that he was not leaving empty- handed and had hurled expletives at him when the search came up empty-handed.

The witness, in reply, admitted to making the comment about not leaving empty-handed, and said that he did indeed tell Smith expletives.

He, however, denied assuring Smith that he would be 'let off the hook' in exchange for assisting the police.

Wilson and 20 alleged gang members, who include women, Police Corporal Lloyd Knight, and two former employees of a pawn shop in Kingston, are being tried for various offences under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, commonly referred to as the anti-gang legislation, as well as for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The trial continues today before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.


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