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Man Changes Lawyer In Senior Cop Shooting Trial

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

ONE of two men standing trial in connection with the hold up and shooting of a senior police officer is taking his chances with new legal representation, The Tribune understands.

Excel Josey, who along with Maurice Armbrister is accused of the late night attack on Supt Clayton Fernander outside his home, asked yesterday to have his court-appointed attorney Romona Farquharson-Seymour removed.

Justice Carolita Bethell granted the request when Josey said he was sure it was what he wanted, and informed the court that he had new representation, despite that attorney not being present.

Farquharson-Seymour, who The Tribune understands had no objection to the request, opted not to comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, legal discussions continue between Crown prosecutors and defence attorneys are ongoing.

Both Armbrister, 23, of Faith Gardens and Josey, 21, of Balls Alley, face a charge of attempted armed robbery and attempted murder relating to the April 10, 2013 incident.

Armbrister was further charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition – a black and silver Smith and Wesson .45 pistol with 29 .45 bullets.

It is claimed that on the day in question the men, while concerned with others, attempted to cause the death of Supt Fernander. It is also claimed that they tried to rob him while armed with a handgun.

Supt Fernander was shot multiple times in the arm and upper body when two masked, armed men confronted him shortly after he pulled up at his home in the St Vincent Road area.

He was armed at the time, but was not able to return fire.

Both men were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court six days later where they were not required to enter a plea to the first two charges.

Armbrister pleaded not guilty to the firearm and ammunition charges.

Last Thursday, the jury heard evidence from two witnesses in the vicinity of the shooting on the night in question.

The first witness said around 10pm, that night, a tenant came to the door to ask for keys.

The witness, who is not being named for his protection, is a relative of the tenant’s landlord.

“I went upstairs for the keys,” he said, “and upon going to get the keys, I looked outside the room window and I heard two gunshots.”

He said he saw two men run from Supt Fernander’s yard.

The tenant took the witness stand next and told the court: “I was standing in front of the landlord’s door.”

“Then I observe a white car come around the corner at a high rate of speed. Mr Fernander’s car pull in his driveway after that. He had a red Explorer,” the witness said.

“What happened next?” assisting prosecutor Kristan Stubbs asked.

“I heard a scream and then a single shot,” the jury was told.

The witness said when he walked out to the road to see what was going on, “I saw him (Fernander) running into the road and the white car pulled off.”

The witness claimed the car was a white four-door Acura.

Vinette Graham-Allen, director of public prosecutions, Neil Braithwaite and Kristan Stubbs are prosecuting the case.

Wayne Munroe is defending Armbrister, assisted by Jomo Campbell.

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