Fishermen triple murder trial set for 2023
The two fishermen charged with the September 2004 killings of three children in Portmore, St Catherine, will have another go at proving their innocence in their third trial in the Home Circuit Court scheduled for November 27, 2023.
The trial was scheduled to get under way on Monday but a new date was sought as the defendants have opted for a jury trial, which is currently on hold, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Consequently, a new trial date was set for 2023 and their bails were extended.
Rohan McCarthy and Ricardo Britton are charged for the murder of five-year-old twin boys Tyrique and Tyrone Henry and three-year-old Moesha.
The children perished in a fire on September 14, 2004, which allegedly started after the accused threw bottle bombs on their home.
McCarthy and Britton were convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 14 years to life, but appealed their sentences, which were set aside and a new trial ordered.
The accused won their appeal on the grounds that the trial judge had failed to adequately instruct the jury on a number of significant issues.
Interestingly, the lawyer for the Crown, Natalie Ebanks, had advised the high court judges that she could not successfully argue her case as the trial judge had blundered significantly as it relates to the jury instruction and had asked the court to allow the appeal.
In the second trial which ended in October 2014, the jury had failed to reach a verdict.
According to circumstances in the case, on the night of the incident, the children’s mother, who had heard sounds outside her home and had got suspicious, saw the two accused, through a window, standing at the side of her house.
The woman said she saw McCarthy with a torch which he threw inside the house, which then became inflamed.
A day before the fire, the woman and the two accused had a disagreement over a trench that the men were digging on the property.
On the same day, the woman said McCarthy told her in the presence of the police, “Burn mi a go burn you out before the night done,” and she responded by saying “They will – they can find you in a bag too, two of us can dead.”
Britton, she said, told her “Ah dead da gal dey fi dead from bout ya.”
But both men have, however, denied setting the house ablaze.
Attorneys-at law Keith Bishop and Lloyd McFarlane are representing Britton and McCarthy, respectively.