'Blackman', Clansman-One Don to be sentenced today

September 25, 2023

Reputed gang leader Andre 'Blackman' Bryan, and 14 other members of the Clansman-One Don Gang will know their fate when they appear before the Home Circuit Court for sentencing this morning.

The matter which was initially set for July 3 was pushed back to today due to the unavailability of the presiding judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes who was tied up with matters before the Trelawny Circuit Court.

Black was found guilty of being a leader of a criminal organisation, among other charges, while the other gangsters including Stephanie 'Muma' Cole-Christie, a so-called pastor from St Thomas, were found guilty of being a member of the St Catherine-based gang.

Some of the gangsters were also found guilty of facilitating the commission of murder and arson while Roel Taylor was found guilty of possession of firearm and ammunition.

The other offenders are former Jamaica Defence Force member Jermaine Robinson, Bryan's cousins, Tomrick Taylor, Roel Taylor, Dylon McLean, Jahzeel Blake, Michael Whitely, Lamar Simpson, Tareek James, Fabian Johnson, Joseph McDermott, Andre Golding, Bryan Morris, and Ted Prince.

Thirty-three defendants were initially hauled before the court, 17 were freed and one was killed.

Of the 17 who were freed, five of them were previously conceded by the prosecution following the no-case submission by the defence.

But for those who made it to the end, some were found not guilty because the evidence was insufficient while others escaped conviction after the counts on which they were charged failed.

The charge for leadership of a criminal organisation attracts a maximum sentence of 30 years while membership and facilitating both have a maximum of 20 years.

The judge also has the power under the anti-gang legislation to order at least two consecutive sentences.

Meanwhile, among those freed was Jason 'City Puss' Brown, who the court heard was the deputy leader, and based on the recorded conversation attributed to him, was a strong supporter of Bryan.

Brown was heard in the recording tracing the gang's history from the infamous leader Donovan 'Bulbie' Bennett to his alleged successor, Tesha Miller, down to Bryan.

In that recording, he was also heard bragging about how he had killed the father of one of the now-freed defendants and how he had also ordered an attack on a police station.

However, although Brown was said to be a member of the gang, none of the two witnesses had seen him.

As such, he was identified by an inspector, who had heard his voice on a recording and went undercover to speak to him while he was in custody.

- Tanesha Mundle 

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