Murder accused Rommel Akeem Cummins initially gave police an alibi when he was picked up in connection with the shooting death of Dave Archer.
However, hours later he gave a full confession, when he admitted to gunning down Archer at “point blank” range on the MV Dreamchaser.
This was revealed today by lead investigator Sergeant Michael Ifill when he took to the witness stand as Cummins’ murder trial continued in the No. 3 Supreme Court.
Cummins, 30, of Vauxhall No. 2 Christ Church, is accused of murdering Archer on June 10, 2019.
Questioned by prosecutor Senior State Counsel Neville Watson, Ifill told the court that in a written statement Cummins gave to police just after 3 p.m. on June 13, 2019, he claimed he was at home sleeping on the night Archer was killed.
Ifill said Cummins provided that alibi after he asked him to account for his whereabouts on June 10, 2019.
In that statement, he recalled that Cummins said he was on a block called YBS, liming but left to drop a man in Cavans Lane to go on a cruise.
“I stayed there and left sometime after 7 p.m. riding my mother’s scooter and dropped my friend Waynie who was going on a cruise on the Dreamchaser. On arrival I saw my friend Bash.
He was in the car park dockside which is close to the Dreamchaser and Buccaneer with his girlfriend. I did not see Shrek, Shotta Fly or Bornerman,” Cummins said in his statement.
“I did not even spend 10 seconds there after dropping off Waynie. I left immediately and went back to the YBS block in St Matthias, Christ Church. I played some cards, smoked some marijuana. I left there around 10 p.m., I cannot remember the exact time, and went home.
“On reaching my residence, my mother’s motorcycle was there parked outside and I parked the scooter outside too. I eventually went inside and I saw that my mother’s bedroom and the one that was occupied by her stepson were closed. I went inside my bedroom and fell off to sleep,” he further added.
However, the lead investigator said having conducted further investigations into the matter, he had another conversation with Cummins around 10:12 p.m. the same day.
He said it was on that occasion that Cummins admitted to murdering Archer.
“I told the accused that in a statement he gave he said that he left the YBS block in St Matthias, Christ Church, went home, went in his bedroom and went off to sleep. I told the accused that I checked out his story and information was received from persons who were on the cruise who gave statements indicating he was on the boat after it had docked just after the cruise,” Ifill said.
He said Cummins responded, “I shoot the man.”
In that statement which Cummins gave to police, he said he took Waynie to the cruise on the scooter and dropped him off and went back to the YBS block.
“…Then I went back to Vauxhall, took up the gun from home and went back down St Matthias by the block. I asked for the time when I was on the block and someone said 9:50, so I went back down Bush Hill onto Bay Street, back down to dockside. I got off the scooter which I parked in front Shrek car and I went and sit down on the rocks by the beach and waited for the boat to dock.
“As the boat docked I started to walk to the boat and I could hear the deejay on the boat saying, “Stop fighting,” so I walk to see what was going on and I see Shrek quarrelling with the guards. He went back on the boat and I followed him onto the boat…I see the guard pull his baton and start to hit people with his baton.
“I was standing up by the first bar on the right when you walk on…The fight came close to my side, it was approaching me so I take out my gun, walk forward to the guard and shot him in his belly,” Cummins said in his statement.
The police officer said Cummins also stated that he shot the guard at point blank because he was beating Waynie, Shrek and Shafon.
Ifill told the court Cummins was not forced in any way to give the statement.
Under cross-examination from defense counsel Angela Mitchell-Gittens, Ifill told the court he had been given certain information from “his informants” which led him to have the conversation with Cummins after 10 o’clock that night.
Mitchell-Gittens suggested that Cummins was beaten by police to give the confession.
She further suggested to Ifill that he along with other police officers had placed a bag over Cummins’ head, handcuffed him, kicked him in his back and beaten him.
“The accused was very well treated and not beaten by anyone during his time in police custody,” Ifill responded.
Mitchell-Gittens told Ifill that the only real evidence police had was Cummins’ confession, pointing to the fact that no firearm had been recovered and there were no eyewitnesses.
The matter is being heard by Justice Carlisle Greaves.