The second of the so-called Police ‘Death Squad’ trials has come to an end in a Not Guilty verdict.
Corporal Kevin Adams, District Constable Howard Brown, Constable Carl Bucknor were on trial for the 2011 killing of Andrew Bisson in Hayes, Clarendon.
The case was brought against the members of the constabulary by the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM.
The jury handed down a verdict of not guilty on the direction of Presiding Judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.
The trial, which was entering its sixth week, came to an abrupt end in the Supreme Court.
For almost two weeks, the prosecution attempted to have the paper evidence from a witness admitted to the trial.
The Crown argued the statement from the deceased witness could refute the defence attorneys’ claim that their clients acted in self-defense.
Two handwriting experts were brought in to verify the signatures on the witness statements.
Chief Justice Sykes says under cross-examination the prosecution’s handwriting expert agreed with the position put before it by the defence.
The defence had argued that it appears that at least one of the statements was written and signed by the same person but not the witness.
The Court eventually ruled that the internal logic of the Crown witness broke down because the prosecution’s expert witness failed to examine the differences in the signatures.
Chief Justice Sykes ruled that the Crown didn’t meet the legal standard to have the evidence admitted.
Following the Court’s decision, the prosecution closed their case.
Chief Justice Sykes then directed the jury to pass a verdict of not guilty.
In a statement this afternoon, INDECOM says the prosecuting team did not think that the case was fit to go to the jury unless the evidence of the key witness was admitted in court.
In explaining his decision, Chief Justice Sykes echoed issues he raised earlier in the trial about a civilian witness who misidentified all three of the accused during his evidence-in-chief.
It was also revealed that that witness also lied to INDECOM investigators for almost 5 years by consistently giving an incorrect name.
Chief Justice Sykes says this matter is a case in point for bringing matters before the court in a timely manner.
Chief Justice Sykes also says it doesn’t matter who is charged, the evidence must be reliable and the investigation must be pristine. He says state agencies can’t behave like criminals in prosecutions.
Earlier in the case, a forensic pathologist gave evidence that Bissoon was shot while against a hard surface. He said it was most likely a floor. But under cross-examination, the pathologist agreed that the hard surface could be a wall or a stove.
The defense team consisted of Queen’s Counsels Valerie Neita Robertson and Kenneth Churchill Neita and Dwight Reece.
The prosecution team comprised of Queen’s Counsel Caroline Hay, Ann-Marie Feurtado-Richards and Melanie Domville.
Meanwhile, Constable Howard Brown and District Constable Carl Bucknor were released. However, Corporal Kevin Adams was remanded. He has three other cases to answer.
There was a feeling of satisfaction from the defense when the verdict was handed down this afternoon.
Constable Howard Brown says he’s ready to return to work. He says he was lawfully carrying out his duties.
And defense attorney, Valerie Neita Robertson says the prosecution’s case was doomed to failure because it was weak.
She argues that the deficiencies that were present in the prosecution’s case is indicative of why the Constabulary Force is apprehensive about INDECOM prosecutions.
Both were speaking with the media Tuesday afternoon.