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Man Who Claimed Brutality Walks Free From Court

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN who claimed police beat him to get a confession concerning a 2010 murder was unanimously acquitted in Supreme Court.

The not guilty verdict for 37-year-old Billy Johnson of Fox Hill was handed down late Wednesday evening.

Johnson, who has no other pending matters before the courts, was acquitted and discharged yesterday after a check in the police system.

Public Prosecutions deputy director Garvin Gaskin and Viola Barnett alleged that Johnson willingly confessed to the March 26, 2010 shooting death of Rodne Fertilien, providing a video recording of him taking officers through the scene of the Dowdeswell Street shooting during closing addresses to the jury.

However, his attorneys Romona Farquharson-Seymour and Candice Hepburn said nearly seven hours of Johnson’s detention record in police custody were unaccounted for.

During this time, Johnson claimed he was slapped, punched, kicked, hog tied, fish bagged, beaten on the chest with a phone book and bat, and also had pliers attached to his genitals.

On Wednesday, Justice Bernard Turner began his summation of the trial’s evidence at 11am before excusing the jury shortly after 3pm to decide on a verdict.

The jury returned four hours later with a unanimous not guilty verdict.

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