Police constable on $1M bail
A ding-dong bail application in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday concluded with a police constable, who was charged with murder, being granted bail in the sum of $1 million.
Charged with murder is Devon Cooper, who is attached to the May Pen police in Clarendon.
According to Cooper's attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson, her client acted in self-defence.
This, however, was an issue for Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey, who quizzed the defence as it relates to the cause of the apparent conflict, which was said to exist between the policeman and the deceased man, who is the cousin of the policeman's lover.
Neita-Roberston asserted, "There is no eyewitness to the offence. Gunshots were heard and a car was seen driving away ... . There is no evidence by the prosecutors relating to what transpired at the time or what could have transpired."
The court was told, however, that statements, including that of a dying declaration, were collected from the deceased man before he succumbed to his injuries.
Excerpts which were read in court said, "... Cousin man, who is a police, shot me. Trail me and drive up beside me, block mi off and shoot me."
Valerie Neita-Robertson, in her application, said, "My clients defence is one of self-defence. The deceased has been, over time, stalking my client, issuing threats and coming to his premises at hours of the night with young men in his car. These young men appeared to be watching my client."
The court heard that after the shooting, the accused was afraid to turn himself in and needed 'protection'.
RM Pusey asked, "Why is he afraid of his colleagues? And was uncooperative while in custody?"
"It's a reality ... that was because of my doing, I gave him my card and told him to contact me for anything," said Neita Robertson.
The court was told that measures had to be in place because a particular senior policeman did not like Cooper.
RM Pusey then asserted, "Somebody not speaking what is happening. Self-defence? What is he defending?"
Neita-Robertson then suggested, "In life, people will have you up for reasons you don't know."
"I can't trust a man who just drive up beside a man and shoot him," said RM Pusey.
The prosecution then outlined that Cooper's service pistol was taken away from him.
He was subsequently granted bail with one to three sureties and a fingerprint order made.
The matter was transferred to the May Pen Resident Magistrate's Court, where Cooper will next appear on March 3.
As condition of his bail, Cooper is to surrender all his travel documents and a stop order put in place at all ports.
He is also to report to the May Pen police on Mondays and Thursdays between 6 a.m. and