Trio Acquitted of Attempted Murder of Police Officer
Three men charged with the attempted murder of 28 year old police constable Nigel White were acquitted of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas in a trial that was without jury. They are Karim Morris, Linsford Acosta and Justo Lopez. They were also acquitted of dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. White was shot in the center of his chest in early morning hours of March 27, 2011 at Belama Police Sub-station. He testified that while he was alone at the sub-station doing diarist duties he heard a noise consistent with the cocking of a gun and he saw three men enter. He said one of the men shot him while another took his firearm from the waist of his pants. A voire dire was held to determine the admissibility of caution statements, amounting to confession statements, that were made by Morris and Acosta. But at the end of the voire dire Justice Lucas ruled that the statements were not admissible because they were given under duress. The case for the Crown fell apart, however, when Justice Lucas ruled that a dock identification of the accused requested by the Crown was not permissible because White had not seen his assailants adequately and it was under difficult circumstances. In addition, in his ruling Justice Lucas said that the identification parade was flawed because the Crown was to inform the defense that photographs were to be used. Without the identification evidence the Crown’s case collapsed and having closed its case with no more evidence to offer Justice Luicas found the defendants not guilty. Morris and Acosta were represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre while Lopez was represented by attorney Simeon Sampson. Crown Counsel Sheringe Rodriguez represented the Crown.