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Defence wraps up closing arguments in Boulevard cops trial

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/court co-ordinator ?henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 03, 2013    

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DEFENCE attorney Valerie Neita-Robertson yesterday told jurors that the prosecution’s main witness was the mastermind behind the murders of two men who were abducted from a Corporate Area plaza eight years ago.

Neita-Robertson made the accusation while urging jurors to return a verdict of not guilty in relation to her client Corporal Louie Lynch.

The lawyer reminded jurors that call data showed that the witness — whom she described as a fox and a liar — was busy on his phone making calls during the time that Kemar Walters and Oliver Duncan were abducted from the Washington Plaza on December 23, 2004.

She also asked jurors to consider the possibility that the witness, who is a former police officer, could have dumped the men’s bodies when he said he went to visit his mother’s house in Wareika Hill, East St Andrew, and intimated that he was the one who should have been on trial.

“He was the mastermind, the man pushing and pulling things. And then he walks through the door. Is that justice in Jamaica?” Neita-Robertson asked.

“Don’t allow yourself to be outfoxed by a fox,” she later told the jurors.

Lynch, Assistant Superintendent Victor Barrett and Corporal Paul Edwards have been on trial in the Home Circuit Court since late October for the men’s murders. The prosecution is contending that Lynch and Edwards conspired to murder the men and that Barrett covered up the crime.

The men have denied the allegations.

Also yesterday, Justice Horace Marsh began his summation of the evidence to jurors, following on the heels of what was a sustained attack on the witness’ s character and on the way the investigation was conducted.

Both Neita-Robertson and Queen’s Counsel K Churchill Neita blasted the investigation into the men’s murder and pointed out one contradiction after the other in the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Neita-Robertson urged the jurors to disregard the evidence presented by the prosecution, saying that it was “worthless, manipulated” and “cut and carved in every which way”.

She said the investigation was not designed to determine the truth, but to implicate the men.

QC Neita, who is representing Barrett, told jurors that there was a conspiracy between former Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields and the witness to form a “dark and damned conspiracy” against his client. “The puppet and the puppeteer”, Neita called the two.

According to Neita, the witness saw an opportunity to avoid legal trouble and Shields was seeking an opportunity to retire from the force on a high. He said Shields wanted a his “last moment of glory”.

He urged jurors to administer justice and render a verdict of not guilty in respect to his client.

“Find it in your minds and hearts to return this man to his family, friends, and to his job,” Neita said. “... I ask you for justice.”

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