Pandemic leads to delay in trial of cops in Mario Deane case

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Pandemic leads to delay in trial of cops in Mario Deane case

Monday, January 18, 2021

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the trial commencement for the three police personnel charged by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) in relation to the death of Mario Deane in 2014.

The delay is a result of last September's suspension of jury trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, today's date was set to commence the proceedings but it was once again rescheduled.

When the case was called up before Justice Stephane Jackson Haisley in the St James Circuit Court this morning, she announced September 16, 2021 as the new trial date.

The three accused — Corporal Elaine Stewart, 52; District Constable Marlon Grant, 29; and District Constable Juliana Clevon, 34 — all had their bail extended. They are charged with manslaughter, perverting the course of justice, and misconduct in a public office.

Martyn Thomas, one of the lawyers representing two of the three accused, told OBSERVER ONLINE that the "defence is ready" for the new September date.

Earlier this month, Court Administration Division (CAD) had stated that jury trials are to resume on a phased basis for the Home Circuit Court and some rural circuit courts for the Hilary Term in February.

CAD had stated that jurors summoned for the period January 7, 2021 to February 5, 2021 in St James are not required to show up for duties until March 8, 2021.

Following the 2014 incident, the police charged Adrian Morgan and Marvin Orr, who were in custody at the time, with Deane's death.

Morgan and Orr, who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the beating death of Deane, were set free in the St James Circuit Court on Thursday, July 30.

Both men who suffer from schizophrenia were sentenced to five years and six months by Justice Glen Brown. However, the men who pleaded guilty a day before the sentencing, were in custody for six years and were set free based on time served.

A third man, Damion Cargill, was charged in 2015. However, Cargill was ruled unfit to answer to the charges or to stand trial. He was released in July 2017 into the care of his family.

Anthony Lewis

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