By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN on trial in Supreme Court yesterday admitted to fleeing from police, leading them on a high-speed chase, and hitting and dragging a pedestrian 80 feet before shooting at pursuing officers.
After pleading guilty to the seven charges in connection with that August 5, 2008, incident, Torino Moss will return to court on December 6 to be sentenced after a probation report is presented to the court.
Moss, also known as Torino Pratt, or “Raiders”, initially pleaded not guilty to: two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm with intent to prevent lawful arrest, assault with a deadly weapon and damage.
It was claimed that while concerned with another, Moss tried to resist arrest and intended to endanger the lives of Corporal 2512 Johnson and Constable 574 Hanna with the unlicensed firearm(s) and assorted ammunition in his possession.
It was further claimed that he assaulted Maglorie Maglada with a “deadly weapon” – a 1989 Mercedes Benz – and caused damage to a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria, as one of the shots hit the car.
In yesterday’s proceedings, Jiaram Mangra, Moss’ attorney, told Justice Vera Watkins that his client “intends to take a particular course of action at this stage of the proceedings”.
Justice Watkins excused the jury and spoke to lawyers in private.
Upon their return, the seven charges were re-read and the defendant pleaded “guilty” to all of them.
The judge then directed the jury to return a guilty verdict on all the counts.
Justice Watkins then asked the prosecution for a brief summary of the facts, which was given by Anishka Hanchell. On the day in question, around 8.30am, the two officers were on mobile patrol when they saw a vehicle on Horse Shoe Drive going in the wrong direction.
When the officers attempted to pull over the blue Mercedes Benz, it sped off. A high-speed chase followed as the occupants of the car made several attempts to evade police until they hit a female pedestrian.
She was trapped under the car and dragged 80 feet before the car could be stopped.
Moss and the other occupant got out of the vehicle and Moss opened fire on police before running away.
The officers returned fire and Moss was struck before being cornered in a building and arrested. He later confessed at the police station.
The judge then asked lead prosecutor Eucal Bonaby if Moss had any antecedents.
The prosecutor replied that he had a record, but it had not updated since September 2011.
Asked by Justice Watkins if he wished to make any mitigating submissions on behalf of his client, the attorney said he needed all of the relevant documents and a probation report so he could “adequately address the court regarding sentencing.”
Justice Watkins told the attorney that a probation report normally requires at least six weeks to prepare which would bring the sentencing hearing to November.
However, her court is not sitting for the entire month of November and as a result, the matter will come up on December 6.
Justice Watkins told Moss that he would be remanded to prison until that time and that he should co-operate with an official from the Department of Rehabilitative Services, who will visit him at some point to collect information.