Prosecutors: Evidence presented linking ‘Clans’ accused to crimes | Loop Jamaica

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The prosecution on Tuesday maintained that there is sufficient evidence linking several alleged top-tier members of the Spanish Town, St Catherine-based One Don faction of the Clansman gang to several serious criminal offences, including murder, arson and extortion.

The crown made the assertion during the continuation of their response to no-case submissions from defence attorneys representing the 28 defendants still on trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The proceedings on Tuesday were delayed due to Chief Justice Bryan Sykes being engaged in another criminal case.

When the matter got under way in late afternoon, prosecutors said there was enough evidence presented to show that defendants Carl Beech and Tareek James, alias ‘CJ’, were members of the criminal organisation.

The prosecution pointed to an incident in which a man known as ‘Outlaw’ was shot and killed in Lauriston in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

A former gangster-turned-state-witness testified that ‘Outlaw’ was killed on the orders of alleged gang leader, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, who laughed hysterically after he heard the gunshots that killed the target.

The prosecutor pointed out that that the witness testified that it was James who killed ‘Outlaw’, with Beech allegedly providing assistance.

The crown reminded that the witness who claimed he was Bryan’s driver, said while he was transporting James to commit the murder, Beech saw the car and signalled him to stop.

“From dem man yah inna di car, mi know smaddy ago dead,” the prosecutor said in quoting the witness’ testimony.

According to the prosecution, the witness testified that Beech had volunteered to point out ‘Outlaw’ to James, because James did not know the intended victim.

Prosecutors submitted to Sykes that this was enough evidence to prove that Beech had knowledge of the activities that were being carried out by the gang.

This was even further substantiated by Beech’s words and actions, as reported on by the witness, the crown claimed.

The crown asserted that Beech should not be freed, but instead, answer to charges of being part of a criminal organisation and murder.

The prosecutor also reminded the court that Outlaw’s sister testified that he was murdered.

During their submissions, the four-member prosecution team conceded that the gangster-turn witness did not see the actual shooting of Outlaw, but testified that James came back boasting of the murder having been committed.

Bryan immediately burst into laughter when the confirmation came of his enemy’s demise.

Returning to Beech, the crown argued that the witness also testified that he and the defendant would attend political rallies and meetings.

The witness said while at these events, members of the One Don breakaway faction of the Clansman gang would stay together.

Meanwhile, prosecutors contended that defendant Dillion McLean should answer to charges of being part of a criminal organisation.

They said there was testimony by one of the two former gangsters-turned-state-witness which linked McLean to being a top-tier member of the gang.

The witness also claimed that McLean was assigned to monitor gangsters who were instructed to collect extortion money.

At that juncture, Sykes intervened and asked whether there was any evidence to substantiate “actual extortion” committed by members of the gang.

In response, one of the four prosecutors reminded the judge that there was a recording of secret cell phone conversations in which defendant Jason Brown, alias ‘City Puss’, tried to get extortion money from a businessman.

The secret recordings were made by a former self-styled don-turned-witness, who downloaded a call recording software to tape the conversations he had with now alleged gang members.

Returning to McLean, the prosecution focused their attention on his charges of two counts of murder and arson. Those charges stemmed from the shooting deaths of Jermaine Robinson and Cedella Walder, who were both killed in bed and their house was set ablaze, all allegedly by members of the gang.

The incident took place in an informal community called ‘New Nursery’ and ‘Fisheries’ in Spanish Town, St Catherine, in September 2017.

The prosecution argued that although there was no evidence that McLean was the shooter in that incident, a witness who went to the scene said McLean went along with the team to “shell dung Fisheries”.

Based on this alleged act by McLean, the prosecution said the defendant provided support to the actions of the gangsters, as well as encouragement.

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.

Interestingly, six of the 25 counts under which the gangsters were charged, were removed by the prosecution because of lack of evidence.

Overall, the accused were charged with multiple other 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.