‘Not Guilty’ Verdict Causes Outrage
The jury in a murder trial that ended in a not guilty verdict had to be escorted through a back exit yesterday as tempers flared just outside the courtroom after the family of the murdered victim rushed out.
The acquitted man, Martin Michael Moore, and his family were also closely guarded during transport from the Supreme Court to the Magistrate Court buildings, as angry members of the grieving family chided them.
The trial opened in the Supreme Court before Senior Justice Hartman Longley on Monday, April 30 and ended in an 8-4, not guilty verdict.
A five-woman, seven-man jury was selected to hear the case and took a little over three hours to deliberate yesterday.
Moore was accused of the March 24, 2008 murder of Tino Greene in the area of Triple Play Nightclub in West End.
Greene, 32, was shot multiple times about the body. Prosecutors Vanda Mackey-Williams and Olivia Blatch acted on behalf of the Office of the Attorney-General.
Attorney Carlson Shurland represented Moore.
The prosecution called three witnesses — two of whom identified Moore as the shooter and another who said he had lied to police back then when he, too, said he saw Moore.
That witness told the court that he was only repeating what he had heard people saying that night.
He testified that he only remembered seeing Greene on the ground, being assisted by others and bleeding.
Martin also took the stand, but denied shooting Greene.
Immediately after the foreman revealed the verdict, Greene’s family members at the back filed out of the courtroom, while Moore’s mother clutched her other son next to her, buried her face in his shoulder and wept.
“Killer,” one angry female shouted as she walked outside the door of the courtroom.
“That’s alright. God knows it,” another said before she made it out the door.
Seconds later, thunderous sounds of screams echoed in the halls. One woman collapsed on the bench and cried openly.
Two of the officers emerged from the courtroom and beckoned the family to vacate the area.
Meanwhile, Justice Longley informed Moore that he was free to go and then thanked the jury for their service.
As Moore and his family were escorted from the court, a number of Greene’s family members and loved ones were still shouting outside.
They became even more riled upon seeing Moore and his family being transported and then turned on the jury who had been taken through a back exit and were walking past the front section of the courthouse towards the car park.
Defense Attorney Shurland believed the verdict was a fair and just one.
“The evidence just wasn’t there, he said. “Not only was the evidence not there; it was very weak. The identification evidence was very poor, there was so much commotion going on, the witnesses were not credible.”
He also pointed out the fact that the prosecution had to make its witness hostile in order to cross examine them and test their credibility and veracity.
“Whenever that happens, you can’t expect the jury to convict a man of murder if you can’t produce substantial credible evidence to satisfy (a guilty verdict).
Shurland was also disappointed in the family’s verbal attack on the jury.
“It’s unfortunate the family became a little riotous. I heard one or two of the family members cursing out the jury, that’s very sad because I believe this jury was very attentive,” he said.
“I believe they were very objective and I believe that the judge did a very good job in his summation and I think they had all the tools they needed to come to the conclusion that they came to.”
With the verdict now in, Shurland said Moore is able to move forward.
“I am happy that Mr. Moore can now get on with his life,” he said.
By Lededra Marche
The Freeport News