FULL SPEED AHEAD: Judge tells ‘Clans’ accused to saddle up for trial Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A Supreme Court judge has instructed nine of the 10 alleged members of the Tesha Miller faction of the Clansman gang to secure the services of attorneys, as she will be moving for the cases involving them to be tried later this year.

“Contact sister, uncle, friend, whoever getting lawyer, to let me know on the next occasion…,” Justice Vinette Graham Allen told the accused in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston on Thursday.

“The lawyers must be here. Unnuh understand mi? Yes man, no lay lay at all. Full speed ahead, okay?” stated the judge to the eight men who were without attorneys.

Jermaine Clarke, the sole accused who had an attorney on the day, was remanded along with his co-accused until February 1.

Clarke, Kamaly Winter, Giovannie McDonald, Sean Pottinger, Jerome Spyke, Owen Billings, Ryan Harrison, Michael Wildman, and Ramone Stewart, are all charged with participating in a criminal organisation.

A 10th accused, Conroy Cadogan, was not brought to court. He was to be placed on an identification parade the following day.

The indictment on which the men are to be tried includes 12 offences, ranging from murder, wounding with intent, robbery with aggravation, illegal possession of firearm and shooting with intent.

A total of 12 alleged gangsters also connected to the Tesha Miller faction of the gang are to join the nine accused in court next week, the judge was told by prosecutors.

Further, the prosecution told the judge that the case file would be closer to completion by the next mention date.

In December, the police said 31 suspected members of the St Catherine-based Clansman gang were detained following a nine-month-long probe, with 13 of the men being arrested during a security forces operation on Thursday, December 28.

Head of police’s crime and security portfolio, Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, sought to clarify at the time that the 31 overall suspected gang members do not include any of those who were released during the recently concluded trial of members of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang that was led by the now incarcerated gang boss, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan.

The months-long probe was directly focused on the section of the Clansman gang that is reportedly under the direction of the incarcerated Tesha Miller.

“They (the two factions of the Clansman gang) don’t cross paths… They are basically enemies,” Bailey told a police press conference then.

In 2019, Miller, otherwise called ‘Hombre’, of Dela Vega City in Spanish Town, was convicted of accessory before the fact to murder and accessory after the fact to murder, all in relation to the shooting death of former chairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Douglas Chambers.

Chambers was shot dead outside the JUTC head office and bus depot in Twickenham Park, Spanish Town on June 27, 2008.

Interestingly, Bryan was charged with Chambers’ murder, but was subsequently dismissed of the charge.

The police had conducted similar operations leading to the arrest of about 50 members of Bryan’s One Don faction of the Clansman gang.

That figure was whittled down to 33 members who eventually stood trial, but at the end of the trial in March of last year, only 15, including Bryan, were convicted.

Bryan is now serving 39 years and six months in prison for several gang-related crimes, including being the leader of a criminal organisation and seven counts of facilitating the commission of serious offences, including the double murder of a couple and the torching of their dwelling house with them inside the structure.