Screams of joy erupted in JusticeNavindra Singh’s courtroom on Monday afternoon when Morris Prince was freed of the murder of O’ Riley Small, who was killed execution-style as he was about to open the gate to his Smyth Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown residence on March 16, 2016.
The former defendant declined to speak with reporters after being freed as he was in the midst of embraces from emotional relatives. Moments prior, the jury returned with the unanimous not guilty verdict after nearly three hours of deliberations at the High Court. At one point, the court’s marshal ordered silence when some of the relatives screamed out as the verdict was announced by the jury’s forewoman.
Prince was represented by Attorney Mark Waldron, who disputed the Prosecution’s evidence which was led in part by ex-Police Corporal Derwayne Eastman, who said he saw Prince crouched over at the crime scene with a reportedly unlicensed firearm. The discharged rank had also told the court that when revisited the scene to see if Prince was still there; he had left. Corporal Eastman had also testified that he along with other ranks later went to the Rio Night Club where Prince was contacted and was later taken into custody.
Morris Prince, in the white shirt, embraced his loved ones after being unanimously freed of murder
It was also stated during the trial that a search of Prince’s car unearthed a hoodie with a marijuana leaf – similar to what the dead man’s sister, Charlene Forde, claimed she saw when the gunman fled the scene. During her testimony, Forde stated that she was about to open the door on that fateful night when she heard rapid gunshots only to discover her brother lying in blood. She testified that it was one day before her birthday.
Police Inspector Eon Jackson, a ballistics expert, outlined that he examined ten .40 spent shells and two .40 bullets which were handed over to him by Corporal Radcliff. Jackson reasoned that the weapon used was either a .40 pistol or a 10mm pistol.
Police Corporal Radcliff had testified earlier in the trial that gunshot residue was found when he tested Prince while he was in custody but the Defence had argued that a Police Station would have been contaminated by such a material.
State Counsels Tuanna Hardy, Abigail Gibbs and Teriq Mohammed prosecuted the case.