Two men charged with murder today denied any involvement in the death of 38-year-old Cosmo Alonza Hinds over six years ago.
In fact in an unsworn statement from the dock Jefferson Tramaine Diego Broomes, of Hannays, St Lucy denied knowing his co-accused Matthew Anderson Farley, of 21 Row Free Hill, Black Rock, St Michael and described him as “a stranger”.
Farley, who gave an unsworn statement, also denied knowing Broomes telling the jury in Supreme Court No. 3, “I don’t know this man I get charged with. Me and he ain’t friends; ain’t have nothing in common.”
The accused made the comments as they put forward their defence moments after the Crown closed its case. They had been charged with murdering Hinds on September 26, 2013.
Broomes, who is represented by attorneys Andrew Pilgrim, Q.C., and Sian Lange, told the court presided over by Justice Carlisle Greaves that on the day “I lost my cousin, I lost my friend. I lost a man that any point in time, any trouble I in don’t care what it was, he would always come to my assistance.”
“On this particular day events happen that from then to now left me in a state of being traumatised, hurt, frighten . . .,” he told the sitting while denying that he was “a party to any plan whatsoever to harm his cousin.”
He admitted that he had brushes with the law prior to the incident “but nothing of this magnitude”.
“I am only human . . . all Jeffrey do was run for his life. Never before was I in an environment where it was gun shots. Never before was I in an environment where I saw an altercation and what happen in that incident. I feared for my life. I had to run too.”
The accused, who is in his late 20s, said Hinds’ death “broke my family in half” and cost him three years on remand at HMP Dodds.
“I suffer for three years behind bars for a crime I did not commit. Not only the crime I did not commit but I was charged for killing my cousin, a man that basically raised me. I was not a party to, I did not plan with no one to rob, hurt or do anything whatsoever to my cousin that has passed,” Broomes declared.
Moments before Farley, who is represented by attorney-at-law Verla DePeiza, addressed the court. He said he never left Crab Hill on the day to go to Broomesfield. In fact, he said, he told police when he was arrested that while he knew of the area he had never ventured into that community and “I don’t know no Jeffrey”.
He claimed investigators placed newspaper on his wrist, handcuffed him and “stand on me toes” while another officer held his shoulder and told him to “start talking”.
The accused said that the situation caused him to get “frantic”.
“I don’t know what he want me to start speaking about. I tell him I don’t know what you are speaking about.”
He said one of the officers then made reference to the September 26, 2013 incident. When he denied knowing anything an officer hit him around the head with a phonebook.
“Another officer took up plastic wrap and wrap me from foot up. After I get wrapped they start to beat me all the while asking me about the same incident.
“I continued to say I did not know anything about the incident,” he told the 12-member jury adding that he did not know how long that process took. Later, he added, two officers brought him a statement form for signature.
“At first I was holding off not to sign but the officer move at me like to slap me. . . . I tell myself I ain’t holding out and put my signature on the form,” he added. He further claimed that he kept those beatings to himself as there was always a police officer in his presence and he “was not sure how to put forward myself”.
Farley said he took the police to two areas including the Hot Pot because no one knew that he had been arrested.
“Other persons there know me by seeing me and so if somebody see me they will know the police hold me. The police say I brek down a gun and took it to the Hot Pot and throw it, which is a lie. I never had a gun in my possession. I never left Grab Hill. I never agreed to meet with no one to go nowhere.”
Following their statements Justice Greaves adjourned the case until Monday, February 10 when the defence lawyers and the prosecutors, Crown Counsels Neville Watson and Oliver Thomas will give their closing addresses.