'Blackman' gave orders, not explanations
Witness tells court of alleged Klansman leader's role in murderFriday, September 24, 2021
BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
When Andre “Blackman” Bryan, alleged leader of the One Don faction of the St Catherine-based Klansman gang, “gave orders” for people to be wiped out, no questions were asked of him, a key prosecution witness testified yesterday.
“He not gonna give explanations, he gave orders, not explanations,” witness number two, who has been testifying since Wednesday morning, said via videolink to courtroom number one of the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston yesterday.
The witness, who has claimed to be the gang's banker and Bryan's personal driver, among other things, made this assertion while detailing for the court the murder of a former deportee on Jones Avenue in Spanish Town in 2019.
The murder of the Rastaman in that incident was one of three that the witness has so far told the court was ordered by Bryan in his presence.
Asked by the prosecutor leading the evidence whether Bryan — who had reportedly told his henchmen that, “Mi want [unnuh] to go kill di Rasta inna di lane,” — had offered any explanations as to why the man was to die and if he had participated in those discussions, the witness said, “I was taking orders, Sir.”
He then went on to detail how Bryan, who had allegedly told him to rent a white Honda motor car for that operation, instructed two of the accused, now on trial, which guns to use, how the act was to be carried out, and his role as the driver.
According to the witness, after he dropped off the two trigger men — whom he identified as the accused Michael Whitely, otherwise called Stennett, and Brian Morris, also known as Rooster — on Jones Avenue around a corner after passing the Rastaman who had been marked for death, he then drove to Shelter Rock, where he waited for the men to meet up with him.
He said the men, after carrying out that shooting, used a trail through the hills to get to the arranged meeting spot. The witness said the two guns used in that murder were given to another accused in the trial, identified as Ted Prince, otherwise called Mawga Man, for safe keeping after they did the shooting and before they met up with him.
“The arrangement was that, after the shooting Mawga Man would take back the guns. Him [Bryan] tell Mawga Man to collect back di guns from Stennett and Rooster and lock dem [hide them],” the witness told the court.
The witness, in a rare moment where he called the shots, was decisive in identifying the individuals he referred to in his account of the various crimes.
The man, who has been testifying from a remote location, in order to identify the men to whom he referred, had to depend on the cameras and onscreen images. Seemingly taking charge while searching for the faces to put to names his “first row, sit, please; second row, sit” instructions at times drew muted laughter from people in the courtroom.
Bryan, after the second round of those 'orders', laughed uncontrollably, his thin shoulders heaving.
Bryan, who had more or less maintained a stony silence and remained unmoved, except to twitch his legs rapidly at points or stuff his hands into his pockets, was observed wiping his eyes afterwards, apparently brought to tears by his mirth.
Witness number two, who took the stand for the first time Wednesday and is the first witness to be called for the Crown in the trial which began on Monday, had said he met Bryan through a friend who was a member of the gang, but is now dead.
He testified on Wednesday how he used his swanky home to host alleged members of the notorious gang, including Bryan, and stash their extortion cash and rented getaway cars. He had also said he decided to testify against his cronies so as not to “waste the courts' time”.
Yesterday the trial was brought to an abrupt early end due to the witness feeling “unwell”. Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, in announcing the adjournment just moments after the trial resumed following a lunch break, said the witness's “well-being was being tended to”.
The witness is expected to resume testifying this morning at 10:00 when the trial of the 33 accused will continue.