By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN was acquitted of armed robbery by a Supreme Court jury yesterday afternoon concerning his alleged role in a gunpoint chain snatching.
Though the nine-member panel accepted 22-year-old Ilano Noel’s testimony that he did not rob Devon Rolle on June 10, 2013 at CJ’s Bar, they unanimously convicted him of the lesser charge of receiving as he had allegedly been found with an item taken from Rolle.
The jury took less than 30 minutes to return a majority 6-3 not guilty verdict for armed robbery and 9-0 verdict for receiving.
Justice Guilimina Archer told Noel that he will return to court for sentencing on April 13.
On Monday, the jury heard closing addresses.
During the trial, Rolle testified before Justice Archer that on the day in question, he was robbed by three men, one of whom had a gun to his head as he was stripped of a neck chain, wedding ring, a cellular phone and cash from his pocket.
Rolle said he identified Noel nine days later to police in an identification parade as one of the culprits, but not the armed gunman.
Noel, who denied the allegations, testified that he was in police custody on June 19, 2013 but that he was the seventh numbered participant of the line up and that Rolle had not picked him out.
A photograph of the stolen phone was produced at trial but not the chain, which was lost in police custody.
Noel’s lawyer, Glendon Rolle, told the jury that there were too many inconsistencies with the prosecution witnesses.
“All of the (police) officers who came on the witness stand made mistakes and they all admitted that the participants in the ID parade did not share like characteristics to the accused,” Rolle stressed.
Rolle said his client’s two defence witnesses, Cleon Fulford and Marcian Bullard both participated in the parade as well and said that Noel was not identified.
Algernon Allen II, in response, told the jury not to be distracted by the accused’s lawyer as “the Crown has never said Noel held that gun but we say he actively participated and that is armed robbery.”
“And we say he was identified by Rolle as Noel held number six, as Rolle and Inspector Deborah Thompson said,” the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor also said Fulford has a prior conviction for stealing and giving false testimony was not unlikely.