By Racquel Porter
Two police corporals and a constable were freed Monday in the Supreme Court when a jury was formally directed to return a not guilty verdict concerning the 2016 wounding and killing of Jamar Walford.
On trial were Corporals Rhamone Scott and Gregory South as well as Constable Duwayne Kelly James.
The prosecutor led evidence from an investigation by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) that Mr. Walford was shot and killed near his premises at 70 Bond Street Kingston on May 27, 2016.
Presented with ballistics and forensic evidence, INDECOM investigators had theorized that Corporal South and Constable Kelly James had shot and injured Walford while Corporal Scott administered the fatal shot on premises nearby when Mr. Walford attempted to flee.
Two witnesses testified that they had seen a number of police enter the premises and had heard explosions soon after but were unable to say which officer shot Mr. Walford.
All three officers claimed they were acting in self defence when Mr. Walford opened fired on them. A taurus revolver and an AK47 was recovered.
At the close of the prosecution's case, lawyers representing the three officers made submissions to the judge that the prosecution has failed to make out a case sufficient to leave for the jury's deliberation.
Corporal Scott was represented by Althea Grant while Corporal South was represented by Kemar Robinson.
Constable Kelly James was represented by Peter Champagnie KC and Samoi Campbell.
INDECOM had initially recommended that additional officers be charged with misconduct in a public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice, however, the Director of Public Prosecutions had declined to act on its recommendation which resulted in the matter being the subject of judicial review in 2020.
The Court ruled that the Director or Public Prosecution had properly exercised her discretion not to charge the other officers named.