11-year wait for murder trial - Mother living on sleeping pills since son's death
On the night when Jamie Lue was murdered 11 years ago, he and his younger sister Tiffany-Ann Lue Brown had planned to meet at a friend's birthday party.
But when Tiffany-Ann's calls to Jamie's cell phone went unanswered, she broke down on the dance floor as she sensed that something was gravely wrong.
"I said to his friends that we need to go find him. He always answers my calls. Even if he is out with a woman he would answer my calls," Lue Brown told recounted last Wednesday when she and her parents visited The Gleaner's office on North Street.
"So we went to the police station and made a report and they were saying he is probably out frolicking," Tiffany-Ann said, as her father, Chew Keow Lue, tried unsuccessfully to hold back tears.
At around 4 p.m., the day after Lue was reported missing, his body was found with gunshot wounds in a Honda CRV belonging to his mother on Mayfair Avenue in St Andrew.
Jamie Lue's trial has not started, and this has caused his family sleepless nights as they seek closure to this tragic event.
His mother, Angella Soutar, told THE STAR that her son's untried case has affected her health tremendously.
"For seven years straight I have been on sleeping pills," Soutar said.
Tiffany-Ann said her mother has taken the death the hardest.
It affected her so much that she has withdrawn from me and her friends. For me personally, every night since it happened I wake up at around three every morning," she said.
According to Soutar, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution responded to her queries in 2011 to say that the trial would start that year.
"Then she went on to tell me that the written evidence has gone missing. Papers don't walk. It is too much corruption in the Justice system. How is it people can't follow up on a case 11 years after an innocent persons was brutally murdered," she said.
Tiffany-Ann recalled reliving the event every time she attends courts.
"For whatever reason that the case wasn't tried - whether the accused didn't have legal representations or sometimes they weren't properly clothed. It is frustrating," she said.
When THE STAR contacted the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), a bevy a reasons were relayed as to why the case has not tried, including the fact that one of the accused, Andre West, was on trial for the murder of Lenford 'Steve' Harvey, and was subsequently sentenced to life without parole for 30 years.
According to the Office of the DPP, four persons who were originally accused for Lue's murder, but the court didn't have enough evidence to prosecute two. Therefore, a nolle prosequi was entered, leaving West and Linford Allen, which further delayed the case.
The representative, however, told THE STAR that a case management date is schedule for the December 9.
A plain case management is to see whether the witnesses are available, to see if persons are willing to give a plea and to look at the evidence fully to see if it meets the standard required to move to trial.
When THE STAR asked the Director of Public Prosecution, Paula Llewellyn, if there was any communication with the family of the Lue, she said that it is customary for the investigating officers to communicate with the family of the deceased.