Several defendants in the Klansman gang trial reacted with muted applause when presiding Judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, declared four of them free in the Supreme Court today.
The four Damaine Elliston, Rivaldo Hylton, Owen Ormsby and Rushane Williams were freed after the prosecution said it had no case against them.
The other 29 including one female remain in court as some of their attorneys presented no case submissions on their behalf.
Stevian Sappleton reports.
Following a short break in the trial, defense attorneys were expected to make no case submissions for their clients at this morning’s resumption.
But when the trial resumed at 10:00, the prosecution rose to explain that after careful review it found it had insufficient evidence to mount a case against four of the men.
They were charged with several offences including being members of a criminal organisation, conspiracy to murder, murder and arson.
Presiding judge, Chief Justice Brian Sykes, told the four they were free to leave. The police released them from the dock. As this happened the men and the other accused clapped their hands while noticeably trying to be silent.
There were also hushed cheers as some of them warned others to be quiet.
In the meantime, several defense attorneys today made no case submissions for the remaining defendants. Among them attorney for the man said to be the gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, Lloyd McFarlane.
According to McFarlane, Bryan was only named in 17 of the 25 counts the prosecution has against him.
McFarlane says the remaining counts should be discarded.
McFarlane also represents Ted Prince, whom he says has no case to answer regarding claims he committed a murder at Phil’s Hardware in St Catherine.
McFarlane says the prosecution’s star witness presented no evidence that the man shot in that incident had died.
According to McFarlane, the star witness testified that the gang leader had instructed them to go back to the crime scene to check if the man was dead and they didn’t.
And attorney for Kevaughn Green, Annakay Kelly says the Prosecution has failed to present any evidence he was a member of a criminal organisation
She says the only thing they were able to establish is that Green is the brother of Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan.
And she says the first witness had testified that he’s never seen Green take or give any orders.