The Clansman-One Don trial which began last year September will return on Monday when chief justice Bryan Sykes, who has raised concerns in regards to the prosecution’s inability to submit significant evidence in the trial, will rule on the no-case submissions made by the defence of 24 of the remaining 28 accused gang members.
Four of the 33 accused – Damaine Elliston, Rushane Williams, Rivaldo Hylton and Owen Ormsby were released last month due to lack of evidence while a fifth, Dwayne Salmon was freed soon after on similar grounds as those previously mentioned. Unlike most of his co-accused, alleged leader Andre “Blackman” Bryan’s lead lawyer Lloyd McFarlane has not tried to have to entire case dismissed and will however be challenging only 1 of the 13 remaining from the original 17 counts he had been indicted on, the prosecution having previously dropped six.
The presiding judge has criticized the police handling of the investigation. Questioning the acceptability of statements solely on faith after evidence in regards to the murder of Damaine ‘Doolie’ Forrester in August 2015 was lost after the computer on which they were stored crashed according to the testimony from the officer who processed the crime scene.
The judge has questioned how in the 21st century it is possible that after a scene has been processed the officers are unable to bring forward any records of evidence or statements from the lab to attest to the fact that such evidence was received.
The judge went on to compare the events to that of the double murder–arson in New Nursery, St Catherine case also in the trial where couples Jermaine Bryan and Cedilla Walder were killed on September 9, 2017, and has also expressed further concerns about the lack of details on how evidence from the telecommunications companies that provided call and call cite data were captured, transmitted and stored.