Klansman leader Bryan attempts to ditch attorney at sentencing hearing
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Klansman gang leader Andre “Blackman” Bryan attempted to ditch his attorney, senior jurist Lloyd McFarlane, at his sentencing hearing before being persuaded against making the move by the trial judge.
When asked to address the court on his client’s behalf, McFarlane informed Chief Justice Byran Sykes that Bryan wished to represent himself in the matter.
Sykes told Bryan that he was puzzled over the decision given that the latter was not fully aware of the process and the documents involved.
“This is why you need the attorney because there is a process, because it is clear that you are not fully aware of what the process is and what is involved, so I am at a loss as to why you are insisting on pursuing this,” Sykes said.
But Bryan responded, “maybe to the eyes”, as he further insisted on representing himself.
Sykes then sent Bryan to the docks to familiarise himself with the relevant documents as he moved on to another defendant.
However, Bryan eventually had a change of heart and opted to have McFarlane represent him at the hearing.
McFarlane has now resumed his plea in mitigation.
The sentencing exercise for 15 convicted members of the St Catherine-based Klansman Gang resumed Monday morning at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston with even tighter than normal security swarming the building and its surroundings.
The trial began in September 2021 with 33 defendants inclusive of leader Andre “Blackman” Bryan.
At the final verdict in March 2023, Bryan and 14 others including sole female defendant Stephanie Cole Christie were convicted of different offences, including being members of a criminal organisation.