A police constable at the centre of public scrutiny and criticism following a fatal shooting over a month ago, has been charged with murder.
Everton Randolph Gittens of Lot #1 Dash Gap, Bank Hall, St Michael, appeared before acting Magistrate Alliston Seale in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court today to face murder and two other charges.
The 43-year-old, who is accused of murdering Selwyn Knight on March 15, was remanded until May 18.
His two other charges are that on March 15, he recklessly engaged in conduct which placed Junior Knight, son of the deceased, in danger of death or serious bodily harm and unlawfully wounding him with intent to maim, disfigure or disable him or to cause him some serious bodily harm.
The three indictable offences were read to Gittens who was not required to plead.
Knight and his son were allegedly shot by Gittens at Dash Gap, while they were apprehending a man who had just broken into their home and stolen two tablets.
That man, Jamal Amal Skeete, was sentenced a few days later to two years in jail by Magistrate Douglas Frederick. At the time, the repeat-offender expressed regret over the incident and told the court: “Something occurred that should not have occurred . . . I really don’t know what to say about this matter because a whole man’s life has been lost due to my nonsense.”
Selwyn Knight returned home unexpectedly and saw Skeete coming from inside his Queen Mary Road, Bank Hall, St Michael home. When Knight questioned Skeete, he told him he had come for a newspaper. When Knight went inside to get the item for Skeete, he ran off. Both Knight and his son, who was at home, gave chase.
Skeete was held at Dash Gap, Bank Hall by the Knights, and the tablets found in his jacket pocket. The shooting reportedly occurred sometime during that encounter. The father died on the spot while the son had to undergo surgery for two gunshot wounds.
Since then there has been much public outcry about the shooting and the fact that the officer involved had not yet been charged.
Gittens was represented by attorneys-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens and Desmond Sands.
Onlookers were kept at bay this morning as the courtyard was cordoned off by crash barriers. Those who had business at any of the three courts had to state what that was before being let through by police officers.
Meanwhile, as the day progressed, several police officers of all ranks entered the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court No. 2, waiting for the matter to be called.
When the accused arrived, he was escorted in by a superintendent of police. While the charges were being read, some of the officers appeared pensive, others distressed and a few sobbed quietly.
At the conclusion of the matter, Gittens was escorted from the building in the company of several of his colleagues. He was then placed inside a waiting vehicle at the bottom of the courtroom steps.
From there, it is understood that a late afternoon effort to get bail from High Court judge Olson Alleyne was also denied.