court decision

#DeathSquadTrial: No Case Submission REJECTED

Prosecutors acting on behalf of INDECOM in the first of the police ‘death squad’ murder trials received a boost today.

This, as the court, has rejected a no-case submission made by defence attorneys.

Constables Collis ‘Chuckie’ Brown and Rohan Morrison are on trial for murder and wounding with intent.

This in connection with a February 2010 incident which resulted in a 20-year-old man, Fabian Dinnal being killed. The main witness in the case was also shot and injured.

Presiding Judge, Jennifer Straw, this afternoon ruled that the policemen have a case to answer.

Justice Straw said she was not convinced that legal authorities cited by defence attorneys, Norman Godfrey and Vincent Wellesley, provided a compelling basis for her to free the policemen.

The jury of six women and a man were then recalled to the courtroom.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Leon Rose, provided character testimony on behalf of Constable Brown. He described Constable Brown as a diligent and hard working policeman.

The Assistant Commissioner told the court that Constable Brown always showed impressive devotion to his job.

Earlier – Constable Brown gave an unsworn statement from the dock.

An unsworn statement prevents prosecutors from cross-examining the witness.

Constable Brown told the court that he did not commit murder.

The policeman said in February 2010, both he and Constable Morrison responded to information about men robbing and extorting people in May Pen, Clarendon.

Brown said when he and Constable Morrison visited the scene, they saw four men who appeared to fit the description of the alleged robbers.

According to Constable Brown, both he and Constable Morrison were greeted by heavy gunfire. He says fire was returned and two of the four men were shot.

According to Constable Brown, the other two men escaped. Brown told the Court that both he and Constable Morrison searched the area and found no illegal guns.

The main witness had told the court a few weeks ago that both he and Fabian Dinnal were shot in cold blood by Constables Brown and Morrison.

According to the main witness, Constable Brown ordered him to get on his knees before he was shot and badly injured. But today Constable Brown said he did not say a word to the main witness.

Constable Rohan Morrison also addressed the jury via an unsworn statement from the dock.

Morrison supported the version of events which Constable Brown gave to the Court. Constable Morrison denied wrongdoing and made the case not to be sent to prison.

Morrison argued that he’s a Policeman of good repute. He told the Court that he’s an honorary member of the Orange County Sheriff Department in California.

Constable Morrison said his level of professionalism has received commendations both locally and overseas.

Tomorrow, Prosecutor Annmarie Fuertado Richards and defence Attorneys are expected to present closing arguments.

The jury will then deliberate on the fate of the accused.

— 30 —