A man has been found guilty in the Home Circuit Court for the murder of former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller’s close protection officer.
The verdict was handed down Friday afternoon. Guilty is Vernon Irving for the murder of Sergeant Egerton Brown in 2007. He has also been found guilty on a charge of robbery.
The seven member jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty on both counts this afternoon.
The trial which lasted for just about a month started on November 29.The Prosecution led evidence that on On September 6, 2007 at about 7:00 in the evening, the former close protection officer of Mrs. Simpson Miller was killed while he visited his girlfriend’s home. He was murdered on Sundown Crescent in St. Andrew.
The deceased and his girlfriend were sitting in his yellow Nissan Lucino motorcar when they were pounced upon by the accused and another man known only as ‘Tyson’.
Irving and his girlfriend were ordered to exit the car and they proceeded to rob the deceased of his car, cell phone and cash.
During the robbery, a struggle ensued between the accused and the deceased at which point the girlfriend ran from the scene.
Irving and his crony then robbed the deceased of his licensed firearm. He then used it to shoot Sergeant Brown. The accused and his crony fled the scene in Sergeant Brown’s Nissan motorcar and abandoned it close by at a place called ‘No Man’s Land’ on Bay Farm Road.
Sometime later, the deceased man’s girlfriend returned to the scene and took him to the Kingston Public Hospital where he died.
During the trial a witness for the prosecution gave evidence that some days after the killing of Sergeant Brown, the accused admitted to shooting “Portia’s bodyguard.” He further stated that the accused, some days after his admission, asked him to hold on to the same firearm taken from the deceased.
The accused told the witness that he was going into hiding because he was “hot.” The firearm was later retrieved by a friend of the accused that same evening.
In late September, the same firearm belonging to Sergeant Brown was recovered by Police after it was involved in an alleged robbery.
A lead from that investigation resulted in the police apprehending the accused in early October 2007. He was subsequently charged.
DNA evidence was used by the prosecution at the trial to place Irving at the scene. He’s slated to be sentenced on January 25 in the Home Circuit Court.