Police accused of bias against murder suspect

| 30/01/2012

raziel.JPG(CNS): The defence attorney for Raziel Jeffers who is currently being tried for the murder of Marcus Ebanks in July 2009 accused the lead investigator of bias against his client on Friday. As the crown called its last witness in its case against the West Bay man who is accused of being one of two masked men who gunned down a group of young men and boys in a Bonaventure Lane yard, Peter Champagnie suggested that the police had not been fair with his client. DS Kurt Walton as the lead investigator on the murder enquiry revealed the sequence of events on the night of the shooting that led to Jeffers original arrest and how almost a year later he was charged with the crime. (Photo Courtesy of Cayman27)

He told the court that when he finally charged Jeffers for the killing of Ebanks and the attempted murder of several others, the defendant had sworn at him and spat in his face so Walton also charged him with common assault and disorderly conduct.

The senior officer admitted that Jeffers’ car was seized by police in the early hours of the morning after he had been arrested at a house in Bodden Town and the vehicle had not been released for more than a year but denied that this demonstrated any bias against Jeffers. Walton also denied treating Jeffers unfairly after holding him for some ten days after his first arrest while other men arrested as suspects had been released almost immediately. 

Walton stated they had been eliminated as suspects and recognised as victims in the shooting early on in the enquiry while Jeffers had remained a suspect throughout.
Walton admitted that when he was advised by the legal department to release Jeffers after his first arrest he had been held in custody for one more day but he denied the suggestions of bias put to him by Jeffers attorney.

Although Jeffers was identified as a suspect very early on in the case, it was not revealed why the West Bay Man was not charged for the offence following the statement given my Adryan Powell who was one of the young men shot at on the evening of Ebanks’ killing.

Powell who is now confined to a wheelchair, as a result of the injuries he sustained that night, identified Jeffers as one of the shooters to Walton less than a week after he was shot, in July 2009 but based on advice given by the legal department, the suspect was not charged until May 2010.

Probed by the defence attorney Walton would not be drawn on his opinion about the strength of the early evidence against Jeffers. He said he had collected the statement and was satisfied that Powell was telling the truth but he said it was not his decision to make whether or not the defendant was charged based on that information.

Walton was the  last witness that the crown called in the case against Jeffers who is facing six counts relating to the shooting at Bonaventure on the night of 8 July 2009. The prosecution concluded the case by reading a number of undisputed statements and agreed admissions.

As the judge alone trial moves into its third week Jeffers is expected to answer the charges by calling his own witnesses unless the judge presiding over the case decides there is no case to answer following defence submissions expected to be made on Monday.


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Category: Crime

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