Three cops acquitted of 2016 murder charges
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Two corporals and one constable were on Monday freed in the Supreme Court when a jury was formally directed to return a not guilty verdict regarding the 2016 wounding and killing of a man seven years ago.
On trial were corporals Rhamone Scott and Gregory South and constable Duwayne Kelly James.
The prosecutor led evidence which arose from an (INDECOM) investigation that Jamar Walford was shot and killed near his premises at 70 Bond Street Kingston on May 27, 2016.
Presented with ballistics and forensic evidence, INDECOM investigators theorised that South and Kelly James had shot and injured Walford while Scott administered the fatal shot on premises nearby when Walford attempted to flee.
Two witnesses testified that they had seen several police enter the premises and had heard explosions soon after but were unable to say which officer shot Walford.
All three officers claimed they were acting in self-defence when Walford opened fire on them. A Taurus revolver and an AK47 were reportedly recovered.
At the close of the prosecution’s case, a lawyer representing the three officers made submissions to the judge that the prosecution had failed to make out a case sufficient to leave for the jury’s deliberation.
Scott was represented by Althea Grant while South was represented by Kemar Robinson and Kelly James was represented by Peter Champagnie KC and Samoi Campbell.
Indecom had initially recommended that additional officers be charged with misconduct in a public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice, however, the Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn had declined to act on their recommendation which resulted in it being the subject of judicial review in 2020.
The Court ruled that the Director of Public Prosecution had properly exercised her discretion not to charge the other officers named.