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Cops charged with Vanessa Kirkland's murder offered bail

The three police officers who in May were convicted and sentenced to 14 and a half  years in prison for the fatal shooting of 16 year old Vanessa Kirkland, were offered bail Tuesday afternoon by a judge in the Appeal Court.
 
Constables Andre Wain Smith, Durvin Hayles and Anna Kay Bailey were each offered bail in the sum of $2.5 million by Justice Carol Edwards.
 
During Tuesday's bail hearing, defence attorneys Oswest Senior Smith, Peter Champagnie and Kemar Robinson argued that their clients are appealing their sentence on the grounds that it is excessive for a charge of manslaughter.
 
They argued that the sentence for manslaughter for members of the police force convicted for offences committed in the line of duty is usually five to seven years.
 
The attorneys told the judge that it sometimes takes seven to eight years for the transcripts of a trial to be prepared for appeal, therefore their clients would have served their sentence. 
 
The judge agreed and offered them bail.
 
As a condition of bail, the three cops are to report to the Office of  the Police Commissioner three times per week and surrender their travel documents.
 
A stop order has also been imposed.
 
Vanessa, who was a student of Immaculate Conception High School, was shot dead in March 2012 after the police opened fire on a vehicle on Norman Lane, St. Andrew.
 
Five other passengers were also shot.
 
The cops testified that they were acting in self defence after gunmen alighted the vehicle and opened fire at them.
 
The three cops were convicted of manslaughter in February.
 
The sentence, which was handed down by Justice Lawrence on May 27, was met with outrage by rank and file members of the police force.
 


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