Lawyer says witness testifying against client because of woman dispute | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News

A defence attorney has accused a former gangster turned crown witness of implicating his client in the Spanish Town, St Catherine-based One Don faction of the Clansman gang due to malice stemming from a dispute over a woman.

The claim was made on Wednesday by attorney Courtney Rowe, who represents Marco Miller, alias ‘Ezzy’, one of the 33 accused persons in the ongoing gang trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The prosecution witness rejected the claim made by the attorney, contending that he and Miller were friends.

But, during cross-examination, Rowe suggested that there was indeed a rift between his client and the witness, as the latter’s on-and-off girlfriend was impregnated by Miller.

This, the attorney said, led to the witness ‘malicing’ his client since 2016.

But the witness laughed at the suggestions, claiming that ‘Ezzy’ was not in his league.

During the proceedings, the woman in question made an appearance in the courtroom and was positively identified by the witness. She then left the room.

Rowe then went on to refer to a text message the witness purportedly sent to the woman.

“Mi did know seh ah di bwoy breed yuh,” Rowe read, paraphrasing the message that he claimed the witness sent to the woman.

“A long time mi know seh you and him inna sexual relations,” the lawyer continued reading.

But the witness laughed, refuting claims that he had sent any such text message to the woman.

The male witness then queried, “But now, sir, can I ask her a question?”

However, trial judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, interjected, informing the witness that he could not do so at that time.

The witness has claimed that he was a former second in command of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang which was allegedly led by Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan.

Meanwhile, the defence attorney enquired whether the witness was involved with the woman while she was a student.

After indicating that he did not know her age, the witness said he had never seen her attired in a school uniform, or knew of her attending school.

In the meantime, the witness went on to tell the court that he and Miller spoke several times on the phone, and he considered them to be friends.

But Rowe accused the witness of lying about being in contact with Miller, claiming they had not spoken since 2016.

The witness rejected that assertion, reiterating that he and the defendant had several telephone conversations.

The witness had previously testified that Miller was among gangsters who allegedly killed and buried two men in Rivoli, St Catherine. The deceased men were from Denham Town in Kingston.

The cross-examination of the witness was then interrupted because of technical difficulties, forcing the trial to take an adjournment for some minutes.

The witness testifying via video link.

As a result of the technical challenges requiring further time to be resolved, the proceedings for the day were subsequently adjourned by Justice Sykes.

Rowe is to resume his cross-examination of the witness on Thursday.

Bryan, along with 31 other men and a woman, are being tried in the Home Circuit Court under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act), 2014, better known as the anti-gang legislation, on an indictment with 25 counts, for allegedly being part of a criminal organisation, in a judge-alone trial.

Bryan and his co-accused have all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

The men and the woman have been charged with multiple offences, including being part of a criminal organisation, illegal possession of firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, facilitating conspiracy to murder, and facilitating arson.

The offences were allegedly committed between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2019, in St Catherine.