Cops in Mario Deane case to return for ruling on May 4
The case against three police officers, charged before the St James Parish Court in relation to the 2014 beating death of Mario Deane, was yesterday put off until May 4 as the judge presiding over the matter was absent because of illness.
Consequently, Corporal Elaine Stewart and District Constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant, who have been participating in a preliminary hearing in the case, had their bails extended when they appeared before presiding parish judge Kacia Grant.
Attorney-at-law Martyn Thomas, who is representing Marlon Grant, told The Gleaner that presiding judge Sandria Wong-Small is expected to make a ruling when the case returns to court on May 4.
"Mrs Wong-Small was not well, so she was not sitting today. When we come back on May 4, we anticipate that she will make her ruling," said Thomas.
The anticipated ruling is in relation to a no-case submission from the defendants' lawyers and the response to that submission by the prosecution.
Stewart, Clevon, and Grant are charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice arising from allegations that they were on duty at the time when Mario Deane was allegedly beaten by other inmates in a cell at the Barnett Street police lock-up in Montego Bay on August 3, 2014.
Deane was beaten into a state of unconsciousness and died three days later at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Stewart, the most senior of the police trio, is alleged to have given instructions for the cell in which the fatal beating took place to be cleaned before the arrival of investigators from the Independent Commission of Investigations. The progression of the case has been hampered on several occasions by issues, including the failure of witnesses to appear in court to give evidence.