Police fail to take ‘squaddie’ before judge
Declaring that she is "not afraid to stir up an ants nest" a fuming senior parish judge on Thursday issued a stern warning to members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) after they failed to bring one of their colleagues before her to answer to the charge of conspiracy to murder.
The cop, Andre Wright, was arrested along with three other men -- Adrian Graham, Shavoy Bailey and Cavane Green -- on December 23 of last year after police foiled an attempt to execute three American women. It was reported that a green card holder, who lives in the United States, paid the men $400,000 to execute the women.
Wright, according to Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque, has not appeared in the parish court since the matter was first mentioned there in March.
On Thursday, only two of the accused -- Graham and Bailey -- were brought to court. There was no sign of Wright and Green. When the judge enquired about their whereabouts, she was told that they were relocated to a maximum security facility.
It was the second no-show for the cop in a week as on Monday, lawmen brought only two of the four accused men to court.
"This is discomforting," said Cole-Montaque, who later adjourned the sitting for two hours to allow the court policemen to locate the prisoners and have them transported to Half-Way Tree.
Cole-Montaque said that "The processes of the court are being frustrated by the police," and insisted that "I am not playing cat and mouse game with the police. This is ridiculous".
She then made the order for the accused cop to be brought before the court forthwith.
"We are getting to the bottom of this today. These are things why people nuh trust police and if the court plays along with it, that sort of distrust will extend to the court," the judge said.
When the sitting of the court resumed late Thursday afternoon, an Andre Wright was brought before judge Cole-Montaque. However, he was the wrong Wright.
"I am not the Andre Wright you are looking for," the man said. "I have been at [the name of the facility] since February 24 last year, so I don't know about this matter," the prisoner said, before distancing himself from the other accused standing in the dock.
The judge's response was telling.
"For some reason, I am not surprised," she said calmly.
The judge asked the other accused when was the last time they saw Wright. They said they saw him on the day they were arrested and were all housed at the Duhaney Park lock-up in St Andrew.
"From we on this charge [conspiracy to murder], him never come court and on the Gun Court charge, down at Circuit [Court], him appear in the zoom court," one of the defendants told the judge,
"It is very strange to me," Cole-Montaque echoed before adding, "This smell foul".