Saturday 4 July, 2020

Witness against Tesha Miller urges youth to drop gang activities

The main prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Tesha Miller has insisted that Miller is the head of the murderous Klansman gang that operates out of Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The police have said the gang is at the centre of an elaborate extortion racket in Spanish Town and its environs, and has been responsible for hundreds of murders over many years. Many of the murders were the result of inter and intra-gang violence, the police have also said.

The witness who has confessed to “killing nuff people” as a member of the gang, and who initially said he was not embarrassed at having done so, showed some remorse on Thursday when he appealed to young men who find themselves in similar positions, to confide in the police in an effort to get out of such situations.

He was under re-examination by the prosecution after being grilled over two days by Miller’s attorney, Bert Samuels, who on more than one occasion suggested that the witness was not telling the truth.

“I am not embarrassed, but I really feel sorry for everything that I have done in the past, and I’d like it to stop. That’s why I came forth and give (gave) the statement and testify in this court. And all other young men out there that (who) have been through what I’ve been through, I’d like them to come forward and serve... meaning they can express themselves, find a police they can trust, to tell their problems and what they’ve been through,” the witness said.

He had earlier told the court that he decided to testify against Miller because Miller and another reputed top-level Klansman leader, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, were responsible for the killing of 13 members of his (the witness’) family.

Miller is being tried for accessory to murder, before and after the fact, in relation to the 2008 execution-style killing of then Chairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Douglas Chambers.

Chambers was shot outside the main gate to the JUTC’s Twickenham Park, Spanish Town depot and head office while smoking a cigarette during a break of a meeting at the complex.

The witness testified earlier in the trial that Miller gave the order for the hit on Chambers, and the witness said he (the witness) participated as part of a group that created a divergence outside the depot gate before Chambers was attacked.

Bryan was charged with the murder, but was acquitted at trial.

He is the reputed leader of a breakaway faction of the gang, and is currently incarcerated while awaiting trial on separate charges. 

The witness is himself behind bars, serving a life sentence for murder. That sentence was reduced after he entered into a plea deal with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). Before the deal, the witness would have had to serve 16 years before being eligible for parole consideration, but that has since been reduced to 10 years.

The witness also, notably, told the court that he prefers to be inside than outside of prison.

The witness told the court that he had lied about being a single youth (child), as he did not want any more of his family members to be killed.

As to why he told the police in his statement which took over 13 months to be completed, that he had known Miller for only a short time, the witness said if gang members offered up certain information about the ‘don’, they could end up being killed.

He also said he did not mention ‘Bruckie’ to the police because that gang member was already dead. The witness testified earlier in the trial that Bryan and ‘Bruckie’ had waited inside a car outside the gate to the JUTC depot before alighting and shooting Chambers.

Thursday’s morning session of the trial was briefly interrupted by the presence of a lizard that had found its way inside the jury box. There was a short break for the lizard to be removed.

The trial is slated to continue next Tuesday inside the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. It is being presided over by Justice Georgiana Fraser, with a seven-member jury watching the proceedings.

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