The prosecution in the One Don/Klansman Gang Trial on Thursday failed to produce supportive evidence to affirm their case against the alleged gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Byran and his 27 co-accused.
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes raised several questions regarding the absence of documentary evidence and the chain of custody for items retrieved from crime scenes to substantiate the narrative of the former gangsters turned state witnesses.
But the prosecution submitted that they have presented all they had.
More in this report from Robian Williams.
An expert police witness testified how he prepared a ballistics match report outlining linkages between crime scenes and firearms.
He examined a total of 10 incidents to which the prosecution had linked the defendants to.
The police expert’s assumption was that all the evidence he examined were recovered from the scenes they were said to be from, when they were submitted to the Forensic Laboratory.
The prosecution revealed that of the 10 incidents, 2 had testimonial evidence that the items from the scenes were in fact carried to the lab for examination.
There’s the murder of a man known as Doolie on Red Hills Road in St. Andrew, where a police witness had processed that scene. He picked up nine spent 9mm casings, that were packaged and taken to storage.
Another police witness testified how he took those spent casings to the lab.
The prosecution submitted that the findings of the ballistics report is consistent with the testimonial evidence.
But Chief Justice Sykes questioned if there were crime scene photographs or any other documentation relating to the incident.
The prosecution answered no.
Justice Sykes went further, asking if the spent casings from the scene or the ballistic certificate were tendered into evidence.
The crown answered again, no.
Justice Sykes remarked “what we have here is a faith based statement.”
He went on saying “it can’t be that you have a homicide in Jamaica in the 21st century and no record can be found.”
Earlier in the trial the crime scene investigator testified that the photographs could not be located as the hard-drive had developed a problem and that the backup storage system had crashed.
The prosecution continued, submitting that there’s also testimonial evidence regarding a double murder at New Nursery in Spanish Town on September 9, 2017.
The officer who processed that scene retrieved spent casings and took photographs which were taken to the lab.
The firearm linked to that scene was recovered by the police on November 17, 2017, from the defendant Tareek James.
The weapon a Sig Sauer and the photographs from the crime scene were all tendered into evidence.
Justice Sykes stated “Look at the contrast between the two incidents, chalk and cheese… one is documented, the other, zero documenting of any kind.”
He further said that the proof of the underlying crime needs to be completed.
The prosecution maintained that they have put forward all the evidence they have, “It is what is is my lord.”
It was evident that the police investigators inside the courtroom were agitated by the remarks of Justice Sykes.
The prosecution wrapped up its response to no case submissions presented by the defense.
Chief Justice Sykes is to make his ruling in the case come Monday June 20, when the trial reconvenes at 10:00 am.ᛲ