Two men have been freed on a charge of murdering PH taxi driver, Earl St Bernard, also known as Jesse James.
Kcyz James and Emmanuel Bowen were set free on Thursday by acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle who upheld a no-case submission by their lawyers.
The two were before the court for killing St Bernard on September 24, 2014, at Waterhole, Cocorite.
In her ruling on the no-case submission, the Earle-Caddle said the court had reservations on the evidence of the main witness, Sherwin Hunte, who was described by the defence as an “eye-see witness” but who did not see the killing.
The defence argued there were several inconsistencies in the witness’s testimony. The witness only showed up in court on Wednesday.
At the preliminary inquiry, the prosecution tendered several statements in accordance with provisions of the Indictable Offences (Preliminary Inquiry) Act and also sought to have the main witness’ statement tendered since at the time they could not find him.
On Monday, Earle-Caddle ruled that the steps taken by the police to find Hunte were not sufficient to meet the criteria under the act and adjourned the matter to Wednesday, when Hunte shocked everyone by showing up in court just after lunch.
On being cross-examined by the defence, he admitted that he was not able to see the faces of St Bernard’s killers.
After being shot, St Bernard managed to run a short distance before collapsing in a ravine where he died. Police said around 10.30 a.m, St Bernard was standing next to his silver-coloured car which he plied for hire when he was approached and shot by unknown assailants.
Investigators said at the time of the shooting, officers from the Interagency Task Force were on patrol in the area, when they heard the volley of shots. After carrying out inquiries, police said they found St Bernard lying face down in the ravine with shots about the body.
Several spent shells were also recovered at the scene. The scene was visited by Western Division officers and included crime scene detectives and officers of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations.
FLASHBACK: EARL ST BERNARD’S BODY BEING REMOVED FROM THE CRIME SCENE.