Fri | Aug 7, 2020

Mario Deane’s case still on a slow march

Published:Wednesday | July 15, 2020 | 12:15 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

The case against Marvin Orr and Adrian Morgan, the inmates charged with murder in relation to the 2014 death of Mario Deane, has been delayed until July 29 to allow enough time for the men’s attorneys to receive an outstanding medical psychiatric report which was previously requested.

When the matter was briefly mentioned in the St James Circuit Court yesterday, High Court Justice Glen Brown set the new mention date after Morgan’s lawyer, Franklin Haliburton, said that the date had been agreed on between the defence and the prosecution.

“I have canvassed [held discussions with] the Crown, and we have agreed on July 29 as the next date. We are awaiting a final updated medical report, a psychiatric report, for us to proceed once and for all in this matter, and we are wondering if we can also have a social enquiry report in this matter,” Haliburton told Justice Brown.

“There were some questions we had penned to the doctor [responsible for preparing the report] for clarification, and some files were sent to him, but because he was overseas for a time, I do not know if he had completed what he was to complete,” Haliburton added.

Orr and Morgan, who are in custody at the Falmouth police lock-up, were not present during yesterday’s mention date.This marks the seventh delay in the case’s progression to trial due to outstanding psychiatric evaluations for Orr and Morgan, who are both mentally challenged. A request for the men’s evaluations was originally made on September 18, 2019, with a deadline set for October 3 and then for November 25 that year.

On January 7, 2020, a report was submitted for Morgan but not for Orr, who is represented by attorney Trevor Ho Lyn. Orr’s outstanding report led to the case being rescheduled to January 27, and then to March 25, before being rescheduled to yesterday’s date in compliance with directives from Chief Justice Bryan Sykes for all courts, to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mario Deane was brutally beaten on August 3, 2014, while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay for the possession of a ganja spliff. Deane died three days later at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Orr and Morgan, who were also in custody at the Barnett Street lock-up, were subsequently arrested and charged, along with a third inmate, Damion Cargill. In July 2017, Cargill was judged unfit to stand trial and was released into his family’s care.