A 12-member jury was directed yesterday to return a formal verdict of not guilty, freeing the two policemen charged with the murder of the son of dancehall artiste Spragga Benz.
Constables Audley Lawrence and André Hare were freed yesterday of the murder of 17-year-old Carlton Grant Jr after Supreme Court judge Horace Marsh upheld a no-case submissions from defense lawyers Valerie Neita-Robertson and Carolyn Reid-Cameron.
The judge said the Crown did not present sufficient evidence for him to send the case to the jury. He pointed out that there was no nexus between the policemen and the murder because they were not identified by the sole eyewitness. He said from the forensic evidence, there was no proof that the fragment of the bullet recovered from the back of the head of the deceased came from the policemen’s firearms.
The Crown represented by Meridian Kohler, deputy director of public prosecutions, led evidence at the in camera trial in the Home Circuit Court that Grant was unarmed when he was fatally shot on August 23, 2008.
Evidence was given that, on the day of the incident, Grant and another young man were riding a bicycle, downtown Kingston, when they were stopped by the police. The young men were told to run and while running, the police allegedly fired shots at them. Grant was fatally shot.
Police reports were that Grant and another man were riding a bicycle along Church Street, downtown Kingston, when the police stopped them. The police said shots were fired at them and they returned the fire. The police claimed that Grant was accidentally shot by the man who was traveling on the bicycle with him.