Accused initially said he found Shineka Gray dead
MONTEGO BAY, St James — A police officer testified on Thursday that Gregory Roberts, who is on trial for the murder of schoolgirl Shineka Gray, claimed he left the scene with the girl alive in convicted co-defendant Mario Morrison’s company and returned to find her dead.
Senior Superintendent of Police Wayne Josephs, who was in charge of criminal investigations in St James at the time, told the St James Circuit Court that Roberts made the comment at the Barnett Street Police Station on February 6, 2017.
According to Josephs, Roberts named Chumu Paris as the defence attorney who would represent him; however, when contacted Paris advised that legal representation had not been finalised. The investigating officer then asked Roberts if he wanted a justice of the peace (JP) to sit in on their discussion, which he declined.
Josephs testified that a true copy of Morrison’s caution statement was later given to Roberts, who looked at it and said, “A dat ‘Speshie’ [Morrison] saying about me?”
Josephs stated that the investigating officer then cautioned Roberts, but he continued to speak, and the investigating officer began to make notes. At the end of Roberts’s comments, he [Josephs] read it over to Roberts and the investigating officer asked Roberts to sign, but he refused.
The officer then explained that, while Roberts did not provide an official caution statement, the notes written by the investigating officer were a true reflection of what Roberts said, and that it would be considered a caution statement, in a sense, because he made the utterances while being cautioned.
Josephs then read aloud in court the notes that the investigating officer took while Roberts was speaking.
“He and the girl had sex… I don’t know if it’s afraid the girl is afraid, but there was no wrestling with the sex… The girl and I did not have any sex at all… When we were there, he pulled the girl into the bushes, and it’s not one time it happened… I then walked up the road and when I returned I see pure blood… I was not there when the girl died… I then said to him, ‘Is those things you going on with?’ And he told me that the girl dissed him.”
During his testimony last week, Morrison said both men had sex with the young girl. He also testified that Roberts was the one who did the stabbing while he recorded the act with Roberts’s phone. There was also testimony provided by a witness who said Roberts showed him a video of the stabbing incident and identified himself as the one wielding the knife.
During his cross-examination on Thursday, defence attorney Leroy Equiano asked Josephs if any of the officers had signed the notes taken by the investigating officer. Josephs replied no, but insisted that Roberts made those statements.
When the attorney asked if arrangements had been made for a question-and-answer session, the officer stated that they were unable to do so because an attorney was unable to represent Roberts at the time, and he had refused a JP.
Lead prosecutor Andrea Martin-Swaby then asked the officer if there was a requirement for the inspector of police to sign the statement. He said no.
The trial, which began on November 23, has so far heard from 13 of the 18 witnesses. Eleven witnesses gave sworn evidence, and two other witnesses’ 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 Morrison were subsequently arrested and charged with her murder. Morrison pleaded guilty in September 2022 and was sentenced a month later to life imprisonment.
The trial continues on Monday.