JAMAICA: Cop Gets Life Imprisonment For Killing Kingston Man

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One of the two police constables from the now disbanded Mobile Reserve Division who, together, shot a central Kingston man nine times in his backyard will be out of prison in less than seven years.

Christobel Smith was yesterday sentenced to six years and ten months in prison by High Court judge Georgianna Fraser, nearly two months after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter for the 2009 killing of Omar Marshall.

Gareth Davis, the other cop who was convicted of murder, was given the mandatory life sentence and ordered to serve 15 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

By majority decision, Davis was convicted of murder while Smith was found guilty of manslaughter by a seven-member jury in the Gun Court in downtown Kingston.

Prosecutor Andrea Martin Swaby led evidence at the trial that Marshall was shot nine times inside his yard at 16 Blake Road on October 9, 2009.

Gun Court cases are closed to the public.

According to evidence presented during the trial, the two cops were part of a police team that went to the premises under the supervision of a superintendent.

Eyewitnesses reportedly testified that Marshall was urinating at the fence in his front yard when four cops, including Smith and Davis, held him and dragged him to the back of the premises where he was shot by the convicted policemen.

One eyewitness reportedly insisted that Marshall did not have anything in his hands when he was shot and said he told the policemen he was preparing to go to the airport to meet his mother.

The cops told him that his mother was coming to bury him before they each shot him, the witness reportedly testified.

The policemen claimed, in their defence, that they were on patrol in the area when they saw Marshall – who they did not know before – running from the roadway to premises on Blake Road.

They said they chased him to the back of the premises where he turned to face them with a firearm in his hand.

Both cops acknowledged that they fired in self defence.

A firearm, which was said to be in Marshall’s hand at the time, was handed over by the cops, a claim which was reportedly refuted by witnesses.

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