Following their latest court hearing, Amoi Leon-Issa, the mother of 9-year-old Gabriel King, was ordered by Judge Sasha Ashley to allow the police to access her phone by November 24.
King, who was autistic, was discovered with his throat lacerated after hijackers reportedly forcibly removed his mother from the car and drove off with him on January 13 along the Tucker main road in St James. The child was found in the backseat of the vehicle on the Fairfield main road by the police.
According to the commanding officer of the St. James Police Division, SSP Vernon Ellis, despite their extensive investigative efforts, they have encountered roadblocks in King’s murder investigation due to non-cooperation and legal fencing by Leon-Issa. Ellis said that though his detectives’ application for a production order for Leon-Issa to permit them to have access to her cellphone was granted on September 6, she later challenged that order, barring their access.
On Friday, the police’s legal representative and Leon-Issa’s attorney, Chukwuemeka Cameron, presented their arguments to Judge Ashley in the St. James Parish Court, with Ashley ruling in favour of the former. Cameron requested that his client be present during the police’s search of the phone, but Ashley denied the request, instead permitting Cameron or any legal representative of Leon-Issa and a third-party computer technician to be present.
Speaking on whether Friday’s court hearing protected Leon-Issa’s privacy rights, Cameron said that that was up to his client’s point of view and that she is still mourning her son.
“My client wants the police to complete their investigation and find out who was responsible for her child’s death. If the police wanted the information in the protection order — the cell site data — they could have gone to the telecommunication company, and that is what they have sought in the production order,” Cameron said while speaking with the Jamaica Observer.
The attorney added that it is his client’s wish for the police to conduct their investigations through any means necessary and bring an end to the matter.