Masks said found in roof of alleged gang member's home

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Masks said found in roof of alleged gang member's home

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — A police witness this morning described for the court two masks he said he found in the home of Sean Suckra, otherwise called Elder, one of the eight men alleged to be part of the deadly Westmoreland-based King Valley Gang.

The two items, identified by the witness as 'a Tommy Lee Vendetta mask and a Halloween mask', were said to be found in the roof of Suckra's home during an operation carried out in the Grange Hill community in 2018 in which the dwelling of the accused was searched.

According to the witness, when he retrieved the masks from a square-like hole he had observed in the roof of one of the rooms in the board dwelling, he showed them to Suckra.

"I said to him, 'a dem mask ya yuh use when yuh ago rob an kill people'. He hold down his head and said, 'mi naw kill nobody boss'," the witness told the court.

He said after searching that premises the police team proceeded to search another for accused Derval Williams, but came up empty handed. A search of bushes in the vicinity of the men's homes, however, yielded a duffel bag containing army fatigue, cap, a camouflage tam with two eye holes, a green balaclava, a pair of black gloves, a pair of elbow pads, a black belt, and an army coloured water bottle hidden in an old car, the witness told the court.

The prosecution's main witness, giving testimony in the early days of the trial last week, had claimed that members of the gang including himself wore masks and gloves and army suits as well as hooded pullovers while carrying out various robberies and murders. He also told the court that these items were kept hidden in an old car, in bushes, and at their homes. He said the men's mode of travelling was usually by motorcycles.

Defence attorneys yesterday, however, took issue with the masks being entered into evidence as exhibits by the prosecution, arguing that it had not been sufficiently established by the prosecution as to which alleged members of the gang were said to have worn masks and in particular whether Suckra had been named as one of the individuals who wore a mask. They further contended that the police officer had not labelled nor sealed the items and suggested that he had also lied about finding the clothing in the bushes.

The prosecution in the meantime withdrew the items as exhibits and asked that they be marked for identification instead.

The trial is continuing with at least one other witness expected to take the stand later this afternoon.

Eight men – Carlington Godfrey, alias Tommy; Lindell Powell, alias Lazarus; Rannaldo McKennis, otherwise known as Ratty; Derval Williams, also called Lukie; Hopeton Sankey, alias Bigga; Christon Grant, alias Ecoy; Copeland Sankey, also known as Tupac; and Sean Suckra, also called Elder — are charged in an indictment containing 11 counts and are now facing trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Alicia Dunkley-Willis

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