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Man Interviewed By Police Within Hours Of Deadly Armed Robbery

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A JURY heard yesterday that a man accused of being involved in a gunpoint robbery that turned fatal had been interviewed in police custody within hours of the incident.

The evidence of Cpl Chris Pickstock was read into the record at the agreement of both Crown and counsel for the accused in the case of 29-year-old Henley Claridge.

Claridge faces two counts of armed robbery and a single charge of murder, alleged to have been committed on March 4, 2014.

It is claimed that he robbed Tonika Laroda and Darius Adderley of two Samsung cellular phones together valued at $600. He is further accused of intentionally killing Adderley by means of unlawful harm.

Claridge, when formally arraigned in the Supreme Court on July 4, 2014, pleaded not guilty to all three charges. He maintained that plea at the start of trial last week.

He has retained Jiaram Mangra to represent him while Desiree Ferguson and Cassie Bethel are prosecuting for the Crown.

With the reading of Cpl Pickstock’s statement yesterday, the jury heard that on March 5, 2014, the officer had downloaded the suspect’s video interview from the digital recording system connected to the interview suite at the Central Detective Unit (CDU).

There were four cameras in the room where the suspect was interviewed by Sgt 7747 Deleveaux between 1.41am and 2.40am. Cpl Pickstock saved the video information from the interview to a compact disc and made two copies, one of which was given to the investigator who interviewed the suspect.

The other copy was placed in CDU’s database, the jury heard.

On Monday, Cpl Ernest Pratt testified that on March 8, 2014, he filmed Claridge’s interview with police which began at the Nassau Street Police Station at 10.44am.

The jury was shown the footage in which Claridge and police detectives left the station and arrived at an apartment complex where a graveyard at the rear was separated by a stone wall.

The police and Claridge then went to the scene of the robbery where Claridge said that someone nicknamed “K-Dog” had instructed him to be a lookout behind a tree while he executed the robbery on the unsuspecting occupants of the vehicle.

In cross-examination, Cpl Pratt admitted that the video interview was not the first time he had encountered Claridge, as he had seen him at the CDU.

Mr Mangra asked if there was any reason why the inquiry did not begin at CDU and Cpl Pratt said he only followed the instructions of the investigator.

The accused’s lawyer asked for the time that they left CDU with Claridge; however, the officer said he could not recall.

Cpl Pratt denied the subsequent suggestion that the video recorded inquiry began at 10.38am and not 10.44am.

Last week, the jury heard that shortly before 9pm, Adderley was sitting in his 2003 Dodge Town and Country Van on Roseland Street with a girlfriend when a masked man with a handgun robbed them.

Before fleeing into the direction of the graveyard, the suspect shot at the vehicle, hitting Adderley in the back. The woman was unharmed during the robbery. Adderley was taken to hospital by ambulance, but died of his injuries shortly after his arrival.

The case resumes today before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs.

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