One of two cops charged for 2013 murder freed after DPP’s ruling
ST JAMES, Jamaica – One of two police constables, who were charged in relation to the 2013 shooting death of St James resident Dujean Robinson, was acquitted in the St James Circuit Court on Thursday following a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Constable Mesheck Palmer, who was represented by attorney-at-law Martyn Thomas, was charged alongside Surano Bird, who is represented by King’s Counsel Peter Champagnie.
The DPP reviewed the case against both accused and ruled that they would no longer proceed against Palmer. Bird’s case is still under review.
At the time when the men were charged by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), it was believed that it would initiate proceedings against police officers without a ruling from the DPP, which resulted in both accused being charged with murder and placed before the courts without a comprehensive review of the evidence against the accused men.
When the matter was last before the court, at the request of Thomas and Champagnie, the prosecuting counsel from the DPP’s office, who had conduct of the file, was asked to refer the matter to the DPP for a review of the file.
This resulted in the charge against Palmer being formally withdrawn on Thursday.
During Thursday’s hearing, Palmer pleaded and a formal not guilty verdict was entered, and the prosecution offered no evidence against him.
High Court Justice Judith Pusey dismissed the case against Palmer and scheduled a mention date of July 6 for Bird to return to court. His bail was extended.
Following the ruling, Thomas told OBSERVER ONLINE that he was delighted with the outcome of his client’s case.
“It is unfortunate that he was charged with a grave offence when there was absolutely no evidence against him. His livelihood has been affected for the past ten years while the matter was before the court and he is anxious to move on with his life,” Thomas added.
The allegations against the officers are that on November 7, 2013, Robinson was shot dead by members of a police team who were conducting an operation in Mount Salem, Montego Bay.
An eyewitness later claimed that Robinson was held and then fatally shot by the cops. The witness also claimed that Robinson was unarmed.
Investigations by INDECOM led to the arrest of the two cops who were charged with murder.