For the second time in just over two weeks, yet another high-profile alleged gangster has had criminal charges against him withdrawn by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions because of troubles with the Crown’s main witness.
Alleged August Town, St. Andrew-based gang leader, George Ellis, walked out of court today a free man.
In the earlier matter, 19 alleged members of the so-called Dexter Street gang had criminal charges brought against them withdrawn in the Supreme Court.
The Prosecution told the presiding judge in that matter that its main witness couldn’t be located and is feared dead.
Ellis, otherwise known as B-go or Boom, was charged under the country’s anti-gang law in April 2017.
He was accused of recruiting men to the gang he allegedly leads in a section of August Town known as Hermitage.
Ellis was charged with being a participant in a criminal organisation, recruiting persons for the organisation, establishing a criminal organisation and facilitating serious offences by being involved in a criminal organisation.
But, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Crime Portfolio, DCP, Fitz Bailey, the charges have been withdrawn.
DCP Bailey says the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew the charges because the main witness in the case against Ellis, was killed.
The Deputy Police Commissioner says the police offered the witness protection, but he refused.
Reports are the witness was killed two years ago.
Arrests have been made in relation to that killing.
But, Ellis isn’t being treated as a suspect in the matter and will be released from custody.
In July 2017, Ellis successfully defended a 2015 shooting charge.
At that time, he was indicted on three counts of illegal possession of firearm, shooting with intent and using a firearm to commit a felony.
In that trial, Justice Crescencia Brown Beckford, sided with his attorney, Vincent Wellesley, and rejected the testimony of the prosecution’s main witness.
Meanwhile, tensions are reportedly high in August Town in anticipation of Ellis’ return.
There were reports of prolonged gun fire in the Tavern section of the community last night.
On October 22, 19 alleged members of the Westmoreland-based Dexter Street Gang had anti-gang charges brought against them withdrawn in the Supreme Court.
The Prosecution told presiding judge, Vinette Graham Allen, they can’t locate the star witness in the case.
The witness is presumed dead after he reportedly refused witness protection.