Cops freed of Tredegar Park double murder charges
Two policemen were on Tuesday acquitted of charges of murdering two men in Tredegar Park, Spanish Town, St Catherine in 2010.
Formal verdicts of not guilty were handed down for Constable Kenneth Daley and Corporal David Hutchinson after the prosecution indicated to Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, the presiding judge, and the seven-member jury, that the case could proceed against the policemen, as there was no available witness to the alleged crime.
The matter has been before the courts since 2013, and the witnesses who reportedly gave statements have never been available, despite numerous trial dates.
The allegations against the policemen were that on the night of the men’s death, a team of heavily-armed policemen descended upon the Brooklyn community in Tredegar Park, where they took the now deceased men from a house in which they were playing video games, and murdered them in cold blood.
The defence of the accused cops was that they acted in self-defence arising from an incident in Tredegar Park earlier on the same night, in which the now deceased men were among more than 20 heavily-armed men who set a house ablaze, resulting in the deaths of eight residents of the community.
The assailants were said to have attacked the household and later fired gunshots at residents of the community who tried to assist the persons who were burning inside the house.
The defence’s position was that police personnel, in responding to the attack on the residents, came under heavy gunfire from the armed thugs, who engaged the law enforcers in a shootout.
In the aftermath of the reported exchange of gunfire, the now deceased men were said to have been found suffering from gunshot wounds.
The accused policemen were represented by attorneys Valerie Neita-Robertson QC, Peter Champagnie and Kemar Robinson.