Roberts was with his mom when caught, cop testifies
MONTEGO BAY, St James – “He was sitting in a white Toyota Hiace bus in the company of a female at the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas, and the female identified herself as his mother,” a police witness testified on Tuesday as he recounted how he apprehended Gregory Roberts, the man accused of murdering 15-year-old Shineka Gray.
The detective inspector, who is assigned to the St Thomas Police Division, made his statement during his evidence-in-chief on Tuesday, which was led by prosecutor Renelle Morgan.
The officer, who has served in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for 20 years, told the St James Circuit Court that on February 3 around 8:00 pm, he was on duty at the Morant Bay Police Station and while perusing the intelligence reports, he made certain observations, one of which included Gregory Roberts’ case.
He said he subsequently made contact with the Montego Bay CIB.
He stated that while at the Morant Bay Police Station, he received additional information and proceeded to the Princess Margaret Hospital. Upon his arrival, he stated that he saw Roberts, whom he knew previously, sitting in a white Toyota Hiace bus with a female. He stated that the female identified herself as Roberts’s mother.
The officer stated that he approached Roberts and identified himself, informed him of an investigation conducted by the St James police regarding Shineka Gray’s murder, and informed him that he was a suspect. The cop said Roberts did not respond.
He said he then proceeded to search Roberts and relieved him of a white-looking Samsung phone, a SIM card and other personal cards.
He said Roberts was then transported to the Morant Bay Police Station, where he handed him over and instructed that a report be taken from his mother.
Roberts’s ex-girlfriend earlier testified on November 30 that on January 30, 2017, Roberts messaged her to ask if another witness, who testified for the prosecution on November 27, had shown her a video that he wanted her to see.
“I said, ‘What video?’ and he said, ‘I asked him to send you the video’. I am not sure what this video is about,” the witness explained, noting that Roberts never sent her the video in question himself.
According to the witness, several days after, Roberts texted her and told her that he was going home to St Thomas.
In continuing his evidence-in-chief on Tuesday, the officer stated that on February 4 about 10:00 am, he handed over Roberts’s mobile phone and SIM card to the JCF’s Communication Forensics and Cybercrime Division (CFCD) for analysis.
Morgan then asked the officer if he had asked Roberts why he was at the hospital, and he said no.
The officer was subsequently cross-examined by Roberts’s attorney Chumu Paris.
The trial, which began on November 23, has heard from 12 of 18 witnesses. Ten witnesses gave sworn evidence while two others’ statements were read into evidence.
Gray’s body was discovered in bushes in Irwin, St James, on February 1, 2017 with multiple stab wounds.
Roberts and Mario Morrison were subsequently arrested and charged with the schoolgirl’s murder. Morrison later pleaded guilty to her murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.