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Insufficient Jurors Delays Murder Trial

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE expected start of a murder trial into a fatal shooting that occurred nearly three years ago did not happen yesterday due to insufficient jurors for the empanelling process.

Hastings McQueen, 25, and Jhoven Davis, 27, appeared before Justice Cheryl Grant-Bethel concerning the August 2012 murder of Owen Hanna who was shot dead near his home in the Redland Acres Subdivision.

McQueen is accused of murder while Davis is accused of abetment to murder and being an accessory after the fact.

Darell Taylor, prosecutor from the Office of the Attorney General, informed the judge that the matter could not begin because there were not enough jurors for the empanelling process.

Last year’s amendment to the Juries Act saw the shortening of the maximum period of jury service from three months to two months.

The amendment, which the government said would improve the efficiency of criminal trials, was also meant to expand the jury pool by including Family Island residents.

A full complement of 48 jurors is required for the jury selection process in a criminal case.

However, less than a third of that number was present for yesterday’s proceedings.

Ms Taylor proposed an adjournment to August 19 where it was expressed that a full complement should be available.

Raymond Rolle and Nathan Smith, respective lawyers for McQueen and Davis, had no objection to the proposed date and the judge confirmed the adjournment.

There was another murder case scheduled to commence yesterday but it was adjourned to November 23 because of the McQueen and Davis matter.

Neville Woodside and his lawyer Joseph Darceuil were informed that the Crown was proceeding with the case of McQueen and Davis.

Woodside, 28, is accused of the March 21, 2013 murder of Shervin Holbert, who was shot in the head and killed after he picked up his take-out order from a Chinese

restaurant on Baillou Hill Road around 8pm.

Woodside denies the murder charge.

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