Man beats murder charge after prisoner refuses to testify

September 23, 2016

Attorney-at-Law Walter Melbourne has called for an end to the practice of holding persons in custody for lengthy periods with little or no evidence.

Melbourne made the call after his client, Travis Perry, was acquitted of murder in the St Catherine Parish Court on Tuesday.

"My client suffered in custody emotionally, spiritually, and also financially, and it will difficult to rebuild himself as his reputation has being battered," Melbourne told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Perry, of Old Harbour, St Catherine, was arrested in 2014, and charged with the murder of Nigel Riley. He was never granted bail.

Melbourne told THE WEEKEND STAR that from the onset, Perry had vehemently distanced himself from the incidence.

"It took some lengthy submission for him to regain his sacrosanct right and this exposed the sad state of the system, where a person can be held even when evidence is dubious at best,"

Melbourne said.

Perry was one of two men charged with the murder of Riley, a school teacher. He walked from court a free man yesterday after the investigator in the case reported that the lone witness refused to appear.

The investigator told the court that the witness is incarcerated at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional facility is currently serving a sentence for larceny.

Melbourne submitted that the court should not depend on the testimony of a convicted felon. He told the court that the accused should be given the benefit.

His application was upheld and the matter then dismissed for want of prosecution.

On June 9, 2014, about 3:40 a.m.,residents stumbled upon Riley's body on a football field at Lennonville, Old Harbour, St Catherine.

An investigation was launched by the St Catherine South police after which Perry and Davin O'Sulluvan were arrested.

O'Sullivan escaped custody in 2015 and has been on the run.

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