Six St Michael men accused of endangering the lives of several police officers during an alleged shootout five years ago each insisted on their innocence when they gave unsworn statements in the No. 3 Supreme Court.
In fact, one said he was not even on the scene of the incident, while several others said that while they were there, they never shot at police.
Adigun Rabbi Hinds, of 5A Maddison Terrace, Deacons; Malik Derick Fenty, of 2nd Avenue Redman Road, Deacons; Richad Barry Boyce, of 2nd Avenue Kellman Land, Black Rock; Richard Shamario Worrell, of Derriston Road, Grazettes; Ranako Kadeaine Brathwaite, of Fairfield Cross Road; and Rashad Justin Bowen, of Gilkes Land, Fairfield, Black Rock also denied having four firearms and 44 rounds of ammunition on May 20, 2018.
On Wednesday, in unsworn statements from the dock, they gave their versions of what took place along Kew Road, Bank Hall, St Michael, to the jury and Justice Carlisle Greaves.
In his statement, Hinds, who is represented by attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, said he was in a vehicle with Worrell and “three or four other fellas” that night.
“When we get to across the road, I looked up and saw a police jeep . . . . Men jump out and start shooting . . . . The vehicle stop and I jump out with my hand in the air and I hear the police say ‘gun, gun, gun’. No one with me fire, had no gun, or I had no gun on that night.”
Fenty, meanwhile, said when the police started shooting, “I start to put my hand on top my head”.
He also claimed that at one point, one of the officers “come and stand up in my back and pull my hoodie and slap me in my face”.
The accused, who has Martie Garnes and Latisha Springer as his lawyers, said that during an interview with police about the alleged incident, he told them, “I ain’t know nothing about no gun. Nobody ain’t shoot inside the car or nun so”. However, he said the officer told him to sign a paper “or get 25 years in jail for shooting at the police”.
He added: “I was frightened, so I just sign de thing. Sir, I ain’t have no gun, I ain’t shoot at the police. I was barely 17 years old, Sir . . . .”
Represented by defence counsel Justin Leacock, accused Bowen explained he was getting “a drop” that night when the police intercepted the vehicle they were in and “started shooting”.
“So I just get down and hold my head,” he said.
Bowen claimed he was then taken to a police station where he was beaten and threatened.
“I didn’t have no gun or nothing. I didn’t shoot at the police . . . ,” said the accused.
Boyce, who has retained attorney Kyle Walkes, told the court he was just hoping to stay alive when the shooting started.
“When I got in the car, Sir, I saw no guns. When I get in that car . . . while approaching Power in the Blood Church . . . a jeep swerved in front the car, police jump out and start shooting. All I could do is just keep my head low and hope to live,” he said.
As police approached the car, Boyce said, he heard someone say ‘how nun of wunna ain’t dead, how nun of wunna ain’t dead’. . . .”
“Sir, I didn’t have no firearm. I didn’t see nobody in that car with a firearm. I didn’t see nobody shoot no gun, Sir. Me, myself I didn’t shoot no gun nor I didn’t have no gun, Sir,” he added.
Meantime, in his statement, Worrell admitted that he was the driver of the car that night. He explained that when police
“started firing” at them he became fearful.
“In fear of my life, I put the car in reverse and struck a car behind us. I saw no one with firearms. Me, myself, I had no firearm or no ammunition and I saw no one shoot at the police,” said the accused who is represented by Michael Lashley K.C.
In his unsworn statement, Brathwaite denied being on Kew Road or Promenade Road where the offences allegedly occurred.
He stated that he was taken from his home and escorted to a police station where he was “beaten brutally by officers and had to see the doctor who prescribed medication for me”.
“I was beaten to give a statement which I did not give oral or written . . . . I never in my life had possession or own any firearm or ammunition. I did not discharge any pistol. I had no possession of any pistol. I was not on Promenade Road, I was not on Kew Road. I was nowhere near that area on the 20th of May. I was not there,” he maintained.
Brathwaite is represented by defence counsel Simon Clarke.
The case, which is prosecuted by Senior State Counsel Neville Watson, is scheduled to continue on Thursday.