#DeathSquadTrial Update: Defense Files No Case Submission


Defence attorneys this afternoon began making a no-case submission in the first of a series of so-called series police ‘death squad’ murder trials.

Police Constables Collis ‘Chuckie’ Brown and Roan Morrison are being tried for murder and wounding with intent.

This, in relation to the killing of a man and the injuring of another in Clarendon, in February 2010.

The defence attorney for Constable Brown, Norman Godfrey told presiding Judge, Justice Jennifer Straw, that the prosecution had fallen short of making out a case against the policemen.

The defence began the no case submission after the prosecution closed its case just before 4:00 this afternoon.

If Justice Straw rules that the accused policemen have a case to answer, defence attorneys will then call character witnesses on their behalf.

The matter could be placed before the jury for a verdict next week.

In the meantime, more evidence from government forensic experts was heard today.

This, as prosecutors moved to establish that forensic evidence regarding the case was properly handled.

Senior Officer at the Government Forensic Laboratory, Bridget Bolton Brown, testified about exhibits she received.

The exhibits contained swabs which relate to the murder probe.

The probe led to Constables Brown and Morrison being charged.

Mrs. Brown said when she received the swabs in March 2010 she took steps to ensure they were preserved.

She said she placed the swabs in a vault where they were later analysed.

Meanwhile, tempers flared in the Home Circuit Court this afternoon when Justice Straw accused defence attorney, Vincent Wellesley, of being deceitful.

Mr. Wellesley is representing Police Constable, Rohan Morrison.

Justice Straw accused Mr. Wellesley of being deceitful after he raised several objections.

Mr. Wellesley alleged that a prosecution witness, the Forensic Director at the Government Laboratory, Judith Mowatt, was being questioned by prosecutors based on notes she had not written.

Earlier, Mrs. Mowatt had told the Court that she wants to refresh her memory from notes which she had written. But Mr. Wellesley insisted that the witness did not say that the notes were made by her.

Justice Straw told the attorney that he was deceitful and ordered him to return to his seat.

A shouting match then ensued between Justice Straw and the attorney.

This, as Mr. Wellesley demanded that Justice Straw apologise and withdraw her statement about him being deceitful

Justice Straw told Mr. Wellesley – “you are deceitful and if you are not deceitful something is wrong with you.”

Justice Straw again ordered Mr. Wellesley to sit.

The Judge told Mr. Wellesley’s colleague defence attorney, Norman Godfrey, that he should advise his colleague to comply with her order.

Mr. Wellesley promptly took his seat. But left courtroom shortly after.

This, as Justice Straw appeared to be on the verge of citing him for contempt and have him taken into Police custody.

Mr. Wellesley later returned to the court room and again asked Justice Straw to withdraw her statement that he’s deceitful.

The presiding judge again refused and told him that it’d be a good idea if he decided to proceed with his cross-examination of Mrs. Mowatt. Mr. Wellesley complied.

At the end of his cross-examination, Justice Straw told the attorney that ignorant may have been a better term to describe his behaviour.

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