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Attorney makes no-case submission in murder of mentally ill St Ann man

Jamaica Gleaner / Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The attorney for members of a St Ann family on trial for the murder of a mentally-ill man has cautioned that it would be “unsafe” to leave the case for the consideration of the jury.

Attorney-at-law Ernest Smith made the claim in the Home Circuit Court today as he asked Justice Carol Lawrence Beswick to find that prosecutors have not made out a prima facie case against his clients.

Velma Deans, 65, her husband Joseph, and their three adult sons, Jermaine, Dwight and Richard, are on trial for the 2007 murder of Stanley McLean, 29, in Coltart Grove, St Ann.

Prosecutors Sharon Millwood-Moore and Hodine Williams have closed their case after calling seven witnesses.

Among the witnesses were McLean’s father, Audley, who testified that he saw Velma Deans stand over his son and use a machete to chop him several times after two of the Deans boys used stones to destroy the door and windows to the house.

He gave evidence, too, that moments later, he overheard Joseph Deans asking his wife and sons “Oonu nuh kill di bwoy and tek him out yet?”

But Smith, in his no-case submission, argued that Audley McLean’s testimony contained “numerous and various discrepancies”.

“His credibility has been totally and completely shattered,” the attorney argued.

He said that on the evidence given by the elderly McLean, Joseph Deans arrived at the scene after the events that resulted in the death of Stanley McLean.

“So he would not have been present during the siege on the house,” he insisted.

“I would invite your Ladyship to direct the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty,” Smith submitted.

Millwood-Moore is presenting the prosecution’s response.

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