INDECOM probes death in police custody of man accused of killing pregnant girlfriendThursday, June 24, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is probing the death of a man while in custody at the Lionel Town Police Station in Clarendon on Monday.
The deceased is 20-year-old Markland Hayles, who had been accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend.
Police reported that during the distribution of meals, Hayles was seen hanging from the back vent grill of his cell by a cord and a merino in a suspected suicide. It was further reported that Hayles was observed earlier that morning during cell inspection.
INDECOM stated that Hayles was the only inmate being housed in the cell at the time of his death. The investigative body added, “An officer who was assigned to cell guard duty provided an initial account to INDECOM Investigators and other officers will be required to furnish a statement and attend the offices of INDECOM to be interviewed, as required, in relation to this incident.”
The investigation is in its early stages and will include the review of the station diaries as well as the recording of statements from other inmates, said INDECOM, noting that these actions will assist in determining the sequence of events from the time at which Hayles was taken into police custody until he died.
The post mortem examination will also provide confirmation of his cause of death, INDECOM said.
Hayles, who was identified by the police as the man who allegedly killed his girlfriend in Rhoden Hall district, Clarendon, was taken into custody on Sunday, June 20 after 21-year-old Tashika McKay was found by a relative with her throat slashed. It is believed the killing stemmed from a domestic dispute.
Hayles was reportedly taken to the hospital and treated for injuries he sustained from stones that were hurled during the arrest. One officer was also treated, the Constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit reported.
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