Mother says she was devastated when son ‘Rooster’ arrested

MOTHER of Brian Morris, the 27-year-old accused who is being tried for involvement in at least three murders and one arson in the ongoing trial of alleged Klansman gang members, said she was “devastated” to learn of the charges because her son “is just not capable of being in a gang”.

The woman, who on Monday took the witness stand at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston to give character witness for her child, was asked by defence attorney Denise Hinson whether she was aware that her son is charged and before the court and on what basis.

“What I heard is that he was part of a gang. I was devastated and up until now I still am,” the mother responded.

Asked why she was devastated, she replied, “The child I have is just not capable of being in a gang.”

Prodded by the attorney to describe the kind of son she had, the mother said, “Very shy and very quiet. I would say he is someone that will work. He is a working person.”

She said her son was not living with her at the time of his arrest. He resided with his father.

She told the court that she had seen him just days before he was taken into custody and that she would, prior to that, see him every week or every other week. She also said they spoke every day.

“I raised my children to be a law-abiding citizen, so I expected nothing less,” she said, answering a resolute, “No, Ma’am,” when asked if her son had ever given her any reason to believe he was less than a law-abiding citizen.

She also said under cross-examination by prosecutors that she did not know of her son being called by the moniker Rooster.

The 27-year-old Morris, in an unsworn statement last week, told the court that he is a welder and disputed the testimony of a witness that he had taken orders and had carried out shootings for the gang.

“I am not a member of any gang; this person are (sic) telling a lie on me. I never shot at anyone or killed anyone [name omitted], Milord. I never been to Jones Avenue or Shelter Rock,” he told the court then.

Morris is charged on five counts in connection to three murders, a case of arson, and for being a member of a criminal organisation.

The trial of the 28 accused members of the gang, including alleged leader Andre “Blackman” Bryan, resumes this morning at 10:00 when defence attorneys will be calling witnesses and presenting evidence relating to the custody of their clients.

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Senior staff reporter dunkleywillisa@jamaicaobserver.com

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