COVID delays Mario Deane case… again

MONTEGO BAY, St James — For roughly the 10th time since it was first brought before the St James Circuit Court in 2018, the Mario Deane case was once again pushed back when the matter came up in court on Thursday.

This was the third time the case has failed to get off the ground since last September after jury trials were suspended because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The new date for three members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to face a jury is April 20, 2022.

Last September, defence attorney Martin Thomas advised the court that the accused were exercising their right to request a jury trial.

The three — Corporal Elaine Stewart, 52; District Constable Marlon Grant, 29; and District Constable Juliana Clevon, 34 — have all had their bail extended. They are charged with manslaughter, perverting the course of justice, and misconduct in a public office in connection with Mario Deane’s death while in police custody in 2014.

Mario Deane was brutally beaten to death on August 3, 2014 while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay.

Following the incident, Adrian Morgan and Marvin Orr, who were in police custody at the time, were charged with Deane’s killing. Both men, who suffer from schizophrenia, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. On July 30 they were sentenced to five years and six months but had already served six years and so they were released based on time served.

A third man, Damion Cargill, was charged in 2015. However he was ruled unfit to answer the charges or to stand trial. In July 2017 he was released into the care of his family.

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