Defence questions cell tower certificate in Shineka Gray murder trial
ST JAMES, Jamaica —Chumu Paris, one of the defence lawyers representing the man accused of killing 15-year-old Shineka Gray, raised questions on Monday about whether a certificate of functionality had been received from telecommunications provider Digicel for information provided by the company and utilised in the police investigation.
“Did you receive any information from Digicel as to the functionality of the cell towers during the period of your analysis,” questioned Paris, who was cross-examining the officer in charge of the Communication, Forensics and Cybercrime Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Deputy Superintendent Maurice Goode in court on Monday.
In response, DSP Goode said he was unable to speak to that.
Cell tower information has played a significant role in the case against Gregory Roberts, who is currently on trial in the St James Circuit Court. On Thursday, it was revealed that cell tower records had placed the two accused men in the location where Shineka Gray’s body was found on February 1, 2017.
The other co-accused, Mario Morrison had pleaded guilty in September 2022 after entering a plea deal with the state and was sentenced to life in prison a month later.
The Cell Global Identity (CGI) information indicated that at 8:58 and 9:07 pm on January 29, both men’s phones were being served by sector four of the Tucker Hill Cell tower, one of the towers that covers the Irwin area. It was also revealed that some text messages read in court were sent from this tower.
When questioned by Paris, DSP Goode explained that while other towers are within the area, the nearest tower with the strongest signal to a cell phone is normally selected by the network to provide the best connection and avoid call drops.
DSP Goode’s testimony concluded on Monday. The case continues tomorrow at 11:00 am. The other lawyer representing Roberts is Leroy Equiano.
Gray, who was a grade 10 student, was found dead three days after she had been reported missing. She was last seen alive in Montego Bay while on her way home from the funeral of a schoolmate.
– Anthony Lewis