Evidence can be considered from counts thrown out of gang trial- Sykes Loop Jamaica

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Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes says evidence from counts that were previously dismissed from the indictment under which alleged members of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang are being tried, could be considered to arrive at a verdict on the existence of the criminal organisation.

Further, Sykes has indicated that he could consider evidence that was given by former gang members in outlining crimes for which the defendants are not charged under the indictment.

The judge made the pronouncements during Wednesday’s continuation of the summation of evidence in the gang trial that is being held in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

A total of 27 defendants, including alleged gang leader, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, and top-tier member and St Thomas pastor, Stephanie ‘Mumma’ Christie, remain on trial.

In relation to counts of the indictment that were dismissed, Sykes pointed to Count 25, which outlines the conspiracy to murder a man known as ‘Ice’.

That count failed on the grounds that there was no supporting evidence.

Sykes said there had been no evidence presented to prove that ‘Ice’ even existed.

However, the judge said he will consider the testimony relative to ‘Ice’s’ murder when reviewing the overall evidence that has been presented by the prosecution.

Of the 25 counts that were initially on the indictment, seven failed, and the crown conceded on four counts.

On that score, Sykes said though some of the counts on the indictment failed, the evidence that were supplied are useful and could be considered in reaching a verdict on the existence of the gang, which is applicable to all the remaining accused persons.

Meanwhile, Sykes pointed to the evidence of one of the ex-gangsters.

The witness testified that the alleged gang leader, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, had ordered the killing of a man at an informal community called ‘Fisheries’ in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Additionally, he testified that Bryan also ordered the torching of two loan agencies or offices in St Catherine. He also said Jason Brown, alias ‘City Puss’, was behind the planning of the arson attacks.

Also, in one of the arson attacks, defendant Ted Prince is alleged to have shot and injured someone who was not the intended target.

The witness said Bryan was furious with Prince for having shot an unintended target.

Sykes said no forensic evidence was presented to support the claims of both the murder and the arson attacks.

Notwithstanding that, he said if evidence from both incidents are taken into account, Bryan could be considered as the ultimate gang leader.

The accused are being tried under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act), 2014, better known as the anti-gang legislation, on an indictment containing several counts, including murder and arson.

The offences were allegedly committed between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2019, mainly in St Catherine, with at least one murder being committed in St Andrew.