Jamaican cop found guilty of 17-yr-old girlfriend’s murder

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(Jamaica Observer) A policeman who was on trial for the murder of his 17-year-old girlfriend in Westmoreland is to be sentenced on July 28 in the Westmoreland Home Circuit Court after being found guilty by a jury.

After 20 minutes of deliberation, Linval Aird was convicted following a unanimous guilty verdict by the seven-member panel.

According to the prosecution, Aird, a constable assigned to the Westmoreland CIB, was romantically involved with the deceased, Shauna-Kaye Clarke.

There were no eyewitnesses to the murder, and the prosecution’s case was based solely on the circumstantial evidence of 14 witnesses, one of whom testified that on April 11, 2010 at about 9:00 pm, the couple was seen in a motor car which was parked on Great George Street in Savanna-la-Mar. The witness also heard explosions.

Expert evidence suggested that the shooter was outside the car when shots were fired at the victim seated on the inside. During the trial, which commenced on June 5, it was disclosed by pathologist Dr Sarangi that, based on the injuries Clarke sustained, the shooter would have been less than two feet away when the firearm was discharged. Clarke’s death was due to haemorrhagic shock resulting from gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

A month after Clarke was killed Aird identified another man as the shooter. It was also disclosed during the trial that all except five spent shell casings were found on the outside of the car and one expended bullet that was found inside the car came from the service firearm issued to Aird.

He was arrested and charged in September 2010.

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