By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO murder cases before the Supreme Court reached divergent conclusions yesterday where one man walked free and the other went back to prison to await retrial because of a hung jury.
In the first matter, before Justice Indra Charles, prosecutor Kevin Farrington presented a nolle prosequi to the court to have the case against 23-year-old Elandro Missick discontinued.
The presentation of the request, signed by the Attorney General, followed on the heels of legal discussions that occurred between the prosecutor, defence attorney Krysta Mason-Smith and Justice Charles at Monday’s commencement of trial.
Instead of the Crown continuing its case against the Kingston Street resident accused of the September 1, 2011 murder of Damian Bowe, prosecutors presented the document asking for the matter to be discontinued.
Missick was originally scheduled to stand trial on December 2, 2013, but it was delayed because the judge was presiding over another case. The court adjourned the matter to December 13 and then December 16 but no witnesses were present for the start of the proceedings.
During bail applications that followed the delays, Mr Farrington relayed to the court that a witness was in fear for his life after receiving threatening phone calls from prison.
However, Mason-Smith pointed out that this issue was just being brought to the court’s attention despite the fact that, by the Crown’s own admission, the alleged threats were made in early November.
Bail was not granted to Missick last December as the court had not had an opportunity to look at his file and his trial date was scheduled for January 20, 2014.
The first day of trial, Monday, dealt with empanelling a jury and eventually legal discussions between the Crown, counsel and the judge.
Yesterday, Justice Indra Charles informed the accused that the case against him was being discontinued but that the Crown, if it chose to, could bring the matter back to court at any time.
The jury was discharged and Missick, who has no pending matters before the courts, was freed.
Five hours later, the outcome was very different for Nevin Curry, who was awaiting a jury’s verdict in his matter involving the fatal shooting of Stanley McIntosh.
Notwithstanding the evidence of three eyewitnesses, Curry of Coopers Town, Abaco testified that he did not murder the 22-year-old Marsh Harbour resident on the early morning of February 26, 2012.
Yesterday after 4pm, the 12 member jury returned with a 7-5 not guilty verdict.\
Senior Justice Jon Isaacs, who had spent three hours summarising the evidence, informed them that the verdict could only be acceptable if two-thirds of them (8-4) had found him not guilty.
As a result, a mistrial was declared, the jury was discharged and a retrial was ordered.
Witnesses had told of how a Junkanoo after-party at Solid Gold nightclub in Abaco ended with McIntosh being shot dead.
The three said they and McIntosh met up at the club following Junkanoo.
The evidence suggested there had been drinking.
Around 4am, upon exiting the club, witnesses said they saw McIntosh and another man bump into each other, which resulted in an exchange of words that escalated into a fight involving McIntosh and two brothers.
The victim was shot after his two cousins pulled the men he was fighting with off of him.
All three witnesses claimed that Curry was the one who shot McIntosh.
Curry took the witness stand on Monday and testified that although he was at the event and witnessed the fight that occurred, he did not kill McIntosh.
He admitted that someone did hit the van he was driving and claim that he and the two brothers involved in the fight had killed the 22-year-old.
Curry is scheduled to reappear in Supreme Court on January 30 for a status hearing.
He was remanded back to Her Majesty’s Prison.