Men convicted of murdering politician's son lose appeal

April 14, 2017

The Court of Appeal has turned down applications from two men who were seeking to have their conviction for the murder of a politician's son quashed.

Dennis Anderson and Tafari Dawkins were convicted of the December 8, 2008 murder of Robert James, who was shot and killed in the vicinity of a stall from which he sold CDs on the piazza at Orange Street in Kingston.

James is the son of Patricia Taylor who unsuccessfully contested the Denham Town Division of the People's National Party in the 2012 Local Government elections.

A jury had accepted the Crown's argument that Anderson and Dawkins were among four gunmen from Hannah Town area who attacked and shot James.

The men were convicted in the Home Circuit in July 2013 and sentenced to imprisonment for life. The trial judge stipulated that they should both serve a minimum of 20 years before being eligible for parole.

"Ultimately we came to the view that the jury's finding of the applicants’ guilt ought not to be disturbed," the appeal judges said in a written judgment handed down last week.

 Anderson and Dawkins had protested their innocence saying they were wrongly identified and that they were not at the scene to the shooting. 

During the trial, it was borne out that Anderson, who was then on bail, worked on her behalf as an indoor agent for Taylor during the Local Government elections.

Taylor said he had approached her asking for work and she placed him at a polling division. At trial she explained that she did this because she was trying to forgive him because he had "explained" to her and asked her to do so.

She said he had told her "Patsy, a long time mi sending mi number to you, to talk to you. I agree I got lock up, a charge for your son ... I have to bear my penalty because I was a part of it".

Anderson also gave a statement from the dock. He took issue with the reason Taylor had given as to why he had worked for her. He said it was she who approached him and asked that he work for her and it was she who asked his forgiveness for her "locking [him] up and other stuff".


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