Crown says teen sacrificed for sins of accused’s ex
MONTEGO BAY, St James – The prosecution in the case against Gregory Roberts, who is being tried for murdering 15-year-old Shineka Gray in 2017, has suggested that the teenager was made into a human sacrifice by Roberts.
The suggestion came during the closing remarks of the Crown’s case in the St James Circuit Court on Wednesday.
“Is it that Shineka Gray was wounded for the transgressions of his ex-girlfriend?” questioned Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Andrea Martin-Swaby.
“Why was it important for Gregory Roberts to kill and record it?” she asked rhetorically, to hammer home her point.
“What did he say to Mario Morrison? ‘They take me for a fool and don’t know that I am a killer,’ ” she continued, quoting from one of the many text messages the court was told Roberts sent.
There was testimony presented during the trial that Roberts sent messages to his ex-girlfriend and her mother in an attempt to scare both women into repaying money he said his ex had fleeced him. In one of the texts he said he had killed before and was willing to do so again.
“So to prove a point you had to show that I am a bad man,” argued Martin-Swaby.
To support her closing argument she also reminded jurors of other strings of text messages allegedly sent by Roberts.
Martin-Swaby also referenced graphic details of the post-mortem report which painted a horrific picture of how the teen was murdered and sought to tie it to evidence presented by a witness called Gangster who told the court he saw Roberts stabbing the teenager.
While defence attorney Leroy Equiano cast doubt on the testimony of several of the Crown’s witnesses during his closing remarks on Wednesday, Martin-Swaby suggested that evidence provided by experts who took the stand supports her case. She pointed to testimony from a detective inspector assigned to the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) Kemar Smith. In 2017, while he was a detective constable, he was a digital forensic officer with the Communication, Forensics and Cybercrime Division.
However, in his summation the defence strongly challenged aspects of Smith’s findings. Equiano also had an issue with testimony provided by Gangster and co-accused Mario Morrison.
Morrison pleaded guilty in September 2022 after entering a plea deal with the State and was sentenced to life in prison a month later.
Gray, who was a grade 10 student, was found dead three days after being reported missing. She was last seen alive in Montego Bay while on her way home from the funeral of a schoolmate.
Roberts and Morrison were later taken in custody in connection with the killing.
The sitting of the court will resume on Friday at 10:00 am when Martin-Swaby is expected to continue her presentation.