A police constable implicated in the murder of a St Ann vendor in 2013 had his bail restored on Tuesday, February 28 after settling his legal representation.
The cop did it just in time at an extended sitting of the St Ann Circuit Court.
The cop, constable Ricketto Graham of Gayle, St. Mary, was remanded into custody on Friday, February, 24 after he failed to confirm the services of a lawyer to set a firm trial date for the case. This was after the court had heard a day earlier that he had fired his attorney from the case.
Graham was charged following investigations into the controversial shooting which resulted in the death of 21-year-old Christopher Hill, a vendor of Treadlight, Clarendon and Brown’s Town, St Ann on Friday, July 12, 2013.
In court last Thursday, Graham acquired the services of attorney Nathan Geddes-Morrison.
The documents in the case were handed over to the attorney and a trial date of May 16, set in the Easter sitting of the St Ann Circuit Court.
As a result of the settlement of his legal representation, Graham was allowed to be readmitted to bail to return to court in the next circuit for trial.
It was initially reported hat Hill was shot during a confrontation with the police about 4:30 a.m. on Friday, July 12, 2013 on Wesley Crescent in Brown’s Town, St Ann. He succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Sunday, July 14.
It was further reported that Hill was fatally shot in the chest and abdomen shortly after he was taken to the Brown’s Town Police Station where he was processed and released.
According to a release from the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) at the time, initial police reports stated that two police officers, dressed in plainclothes, were on foot patrol in the Brown’s Town area when they allegedly noticed that a man was coming towards them and appearing as though he wanted to run.
The officers reportedly announced themselves by shouting: “Police, put your hands in the air and don’t move!”
It is alleged that the man did not stop, but allegedly continued to advance at the policemen after repeated instructions that he stop and follow the instructions of the officers.
The man was fired at by one of the officers after he allegedly pulled what appeared to be a ratchet knife from his waist. When he allegedly continued moving towards the policemen a second shot was fired and the man fell. He was taken to hospital where he was admitted. A knife was recovered from him, the police reported.
However, civilians gave a conflicting account to that of the police, INDECOM said.
It was later revealed that on that said Friday morning in question, Hill’s body was found near Brown’s Town and he was taken to the St Ann’s Bay hospital where he died, but not before saying what had happened when he had been shot and left for dead. Hill allegedly told his mother that he was shot and his body dumped by police.
Constable Graham was taken into custody, while he waited for a ruling into the matter by the director of public prosecutions, who later ruled that he should be charged.
Graham was offered bail and his case went straight to the St Ann Circuit Court when a Voluntary Bill was entered when it was called up at the St Ann’s Bay Resident Magistrate Court (now St Ann Parish Court) on November 25, 2013. The case was then brought before the St. Ann Circuit Court on the final week of its sitting in November of 2013 also.