’By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
LESS than a year after a 31-year-old man was charged with murder, prosecutors yesterday produced a written directive mid-trial from the Office of the Attorney General requesting that proceedings against him be discontinued.
Terez Bethel, a South Beach resident, was standing trial in the Supreme Court before Justice Ian Winder concerning the May 23, 2014, fatal shooting of Andrew Woods.
Woods, 53, was shot in the chest while in a convenience store on Lightbourn Street off Farrington Road and pronounced dead at the scene on the day in question.
Bethel was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court nearly three months later when he claimed to be innocent of any wrongdoing.
During the trial, the jury heard evidence from a crime scene investigator, Woods’ widow and pathologist Dr Caryn Sands.
The Crown’s remaining witnesses, two police officers and an anonymous witness set to give evidence by video link, failed to show.
Crown prosecutor Floyd Moxey yesterday informed the judge that “the honourable attorney general has exercised her discretion and has entered a nolle prosequi.”
The prosecutor produced a copy for both the judge and defence counsel Glendon Rolle.
Justice Winder, before discharging the jury, told Bethel: “You’re free to go provided you have no other pending matters.”
When asked if he and his client had anticipated yesterday afternoon’s outcome, Mr Rolle said: “We were prepared.”
“He is innocent and we believed in his innocence and he has now been vindicated.”
The Attorney General’s Office could bring the case against Bethel again at any time in the Supreme Court.