Stephanie ‘Mumma’ Christie, who is alleged to be a St Thomas pastor, has denied that she is a main operative of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang, insisting that she is a community activist who is involved in charity work and assisting unattached youth.
Christie was among several defendants who addressed the ongoing gang trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston on Wednesday.
They all denied being members of a criminal organisation, including defendant Pete Miller who claimed that his father was killed by a gang member who is now on trial with him.
But one of the defendants on Wednesday opted to give sworn testimony in court, diverting from his co-accused who have largely all opted to give unsworn statements from the prisoner’s dock, which will prevent them from being cross-examined by prosecutors.
In her address to trial judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, Christie said she is a businesswoman who has compassion for the elderly and has dedicated her activism towards taking care of such persons.
In describing herself as a “people person”, Christie said she also has assisted and cared for several unattached youth in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
The pastor said, too, that she has hosted several social activities, including sports, that were geared towards helping young people, and also aided them in their enrolment into school.
“I am not a part of any gang and I am not a top-tier member,” said Christie.
A former gangster-turned-state-witness testified that Christie was in charge of the gang’s business affairs and she would communicate with the police “if there is a problem” with gangsters.
Additionally, he testified that she would also go to the police and find out the nature of the problems.
Further, the witness claimed that Christie would deliver “sensitive” messages on behalf of the alleged leader of the One Don breakaway of the Clansman gang, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, if he wished not to speak on the phone.
However, Christie denied those allegations on Wednesday.
She admitted, however, to knowing Bryan, but said they were just “good friends”.
In elaborating, she told the court that she grew up in Jones Avenue in Spanish Town with Bryan, and they went to school together.
Kevaughn Green, the brother of the alleged gang leader, also made an unsworn statement, during which he professed his innocence and called the two former gangsters-turned-state-witnesses liars.
Green was accused by the witnesses of ordering firearms and testing them.
But on Wednesday the accused denied that he has ever test fired any illegal gun or clad himself in any bullet-proof vests, as one of the witnesses claimed.
In a passionate address during his unsworn statement from the dock, defendant Pete Miller said he could never join the Clansman gang, as the criminal organisation was responsible for the murder of his father.
“… And one a dem (gangsters) weh kill mi father in a court now wid me, suh I could never be part of this gang,” Miller insisted.
During the playing of conversations that were secretly recorded by a former gangster-turned-state-witness, a voice that was said to be of defendant Jason ‘City Puss’ Brown was heard boasting that he had Miller’s father murdered.
The witness who made the cell phone recordings testified earlier this year that, “Majority of those who lose their father in the gang was taken out by City Puss”.
A voice said to be that of Brown, along with other gangsters, was also heard on cell phone conversations plotting the demise of three of the accused, including Miller, ostensibly because they had become disloyal to the gang.
The fathers of the three men were also said to have been killed because of disloyalty within the gang.
Meanwhile, Miller also refuted claims that he was the don for the Waterloo community in Spanish Town.
Miller, who is also known by the alias ‘Smokie’, evoked laughter in the court when he implored Sykes to allow him to demonstrate how he (Miller) walks, as one of the witnesses had claimed that his leg was bent.
He was allowed to do so, and he showed that his two legs were straight.
The only accused to so far take the option of giving a sworn statement from the prisoner’s dock is Kalifa Williams.
In his address to the court, he said he was detained in January 2017, and has not been released since them.
Like his co-accused, Williams denied being a gangster, or being involved in any shooting incident.
He claimed that he only knew four of the defendants because they are from the Top Banks community in Spanish Town, where he has also been a resident.
According to him, he did not know Bryan before in his life. Williams said the first time he saw the alleged gang leader was when he met him in 2019 when the case was mentioned in court.
Williams also denied allegations that were made by one of the two prosecution witnesses, that he (Williams) was a top shooter for the gang.
He said he saw the former gangster-turned-state-witness for the first time on the display screen when he was giving his testimony for months.
In relation to the other accused persons, they continued to refute claims that they are gangsters.
Among them was former Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier, Jermaine Robinson, who revealed that his father was also a soldier.
In stating that his father has been his role model, Robinson said he always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an army man
“I have a great passion for my job, and it is something that I had always wanted to do as a youngster,” he shared.
A former gangster-turned-state-witness described Robinson as Bryan’s bodyguard, an allegation that the ex-soldier denied vehemently.
“I know nothing about any gang or being a member of any criminal organisation,” he said, adding that he would never do anything to jeopardise his career as a soldier.
Robinson said he did not have the time to play any role of guarding Bryan, as he was busy at the JDF base at the time.
He said he was busy to the extent that his then pregnant wife and two children hardly saw him.
Defendant Lamar Simpson, alias ‘Sick Head’, got emotional when expressing to Sykes that he is the man who has to stand up for his two sons and the rest of his family.
“Your faithfulness, look through my side and every side. I am not guilty,” pleaded Simpson.
Another defendant, Michael Whitely, said he was a chef who had been utilising his culinary skills since age 15.
“I don’t in any gang. Just mi food shop mi deal with,” he told the judge.
Daniel McKenzie, alias ‘Biggs’, another alleged gangster, who was said to have been the don for Lauriston, denied that he was any community don.
McKenzie, during his unsworn statement, claimed that he never owned or fired a gun in his life.
Defendant Donovan Richards described himself as a higgler and not a gangster. He claimed that he had three children and his sick mother to take care of.
Richards said it was his third time in the court on anti-gang charges. The other two cases, he said, were thrown out because of lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, the accused top shooter and alleged bodyguard, Tareek James, insisted that he played none of the roles that the witness claimed he did.
“I killed no one. I am not a gang member. I was no bodyguard,” James stated, adding that he has been in police custody since November 2017.
He described as a “surprise”, the allegations that were made that he was a member of the gang. He said he played music from a boom box, and that is what he is known for.
The 28 accused are being tried under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act), 2014, better known as the anti-gang legislation, on an indictment containing several counts.
The offences were allegedly committed between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2019, mainly in St Catherine, with at least one murder being committed in St Andrew.