Cop charged with Donna-Lee's murder remanded; to seek bail Aug 22
Donna-Lee Donaldson, who police believe was killed between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm on July 12.

DRESSED in a blue suit, a stone-faced Noel Maitland on Friday walked out of a holding cell inside the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court then entered the prisoner's dock and stood with his hands crossed for roughly eight minutes while his attorney Christopher Townsend negotiated a date when a bail application could be heard.

Maitland, a police constable who is assigned to the St Andrew North Division, was seen glancing at the faces of people sitting at the back of the courtroom.

After giving the clerk of court time to find a suitable date for the bail application, the judge, prosecution, and the defence agreed on August 22.

The police constable was then remanded and ordered to be fingerprinted.

The prosecution told the court that the only document served thus far on the defence is a criminal report and indicated that a number of other reports and statements crucial to the case were still outstanding.

Townsend told the court that he anticipates that the outstanding documents will be ready before the bail hearing.

"Though the prosecution has served the preliminary report they have not served me anything else. From what I have seen from the preliminary report, there are a number of reports outstanding which I gather will be at hand, certainly before the bail hearing," he said.

According to Townsend, based on what was read in the preliminary report, he found it interesting that it took roughly five visits to Maitland's Chelsea Manor apartment in St Andrew before blood evidence ascribed to Donaldson was located.

"What I find interesting was that it took some four or five forensic teams on different occasions to locate this blood. I am wondering how the blood missed them on visit number one, two and visit number three. That will be explored and they will attempt to provide answers," Townsend said.

News that the case file was not yet ready and that Townsend would be applying for bail for his client did not sit well with relatives and friends of Donaldson.

Overcome by anger and other emotions, Donaldson's uncle, Neil Lugg, was in disbelief. His wish is that each time Townsend applies for bail on behalf of Maitland, it is rejected.

"He should continue to be remanded in custody. When the 22nd comes, all media houses should get busy. All now him nuh talk weh my niece deh. A just anger me have inna mi right now," Lugg said.

He told journalists that he was disappointed that no attempt had been made to ensure a member of the family was present in court to be a part of the process.

"When dem charge him the superintendent come to my yard and tell me seh dem charge him and ask mi how mi feel. Now him a come a court and nobody nuh contact we. A di media mek we know seh him a come court. How him fi come a court and there was no one from Dona-lee's family there?"

Donaldson was last seen on July 11 at Maitland's New Kingston apartment, according to the police.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, who heads the crime portfolio, said at a press conference earlier this month that, although Donaldson's body had not been found, police have sufficient evidence to charge Maitland with her murder.

Bailey said that investigators believe Donaldson was killed between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm on July 12.

Several searches, including at the Riverton City dump in St Andrew, have been carried out to find Donaldson's body, but to no avail.

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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