Mon | Jan 24, 2022

Man freed of murder after 9 years in jail

To remain behind bars in other case

Published:Wednesday | May 19, 2021 | 12:16 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter
Attorney Peter Champagnie submitted to the trial judge that the quality of the identification evidence was poor.
Attorney Peter Champagnie submitted to the trial judge that the quality of the identification evidence was poor.

A Kingston labourer who had been in custody for nine years awaiting his trial was on Tuesday freed of murder in the Supreme Court.

Thirty-one-year-old Dwight Leslie, otherwise known as ‘Catfish’, had the case against him dismissed after his lawyer, Peter Champagnie, QC, made a successful no-case submission during the trial in which he argued that the case against his client could not stand up to scrutiny.

Leslie was being tried for the June 1, 2007, murder of 21-year-old Anthony Barnes before Justice Leighton Pusey, in a judge-alone trial, which had commenced on Monday.

The prosecutors led evidence that Leslie, along with others, had shot and killed Barnes at 10:30 on the night of the incident.

According to the Crown’s evidence, the killing was witnessed by Barnes’ father, who subsequently died, but his written statement was relied upon in the trial against Leslie.

But Champagnie, at the end of the prosecution’s case on Tuesday, submitted to the trial judge that the quality of the identification evidence was poor and the judge agreed and upheld his no-case submission.

During cross-examination of the crime-scene witness, it had emerged that the area was dark and, as a result, it had affected Barnes’ father ability to properly identify who had killed his son.

Leslie, in the meantime, remains in custody as he is charged, along with Tyreek Johnson, also called ‘Ramone’ or ‘Isis’, 20, for the 2019 shooting murder of 29-year-old Allando Hibbert, also called ‘Moonie’, of Ebonyvale in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Both are facing murder, shooting with intent, and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

According to police report, Hibbert was standing at the entrance to an apartment building on Fleet Street when he was approached by two men carrying guns.

It’s alleged that Hibbert tried to escape, but was chased by Leslie and Johnson and shot several times.

Another man who was in the vicinity of the incident was also reportedly shot and injured.

Hibbert, however, died while undergoing treatment. The other man was admitted for treatment.

Leslie and Johnson were subsequently arrested and placed before an identification parade where they were positively identified.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com