Open verdict in police-involved shooting death of Ronald Mackey




Tribune Staff Reporter


JURORS returned an open verdict in the police-involved killing case of Ronald Mackey, finding yesterday that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that his 2017 shooting death was justified or not.

Mackey’s mother, Bethsheba Deveaux, was visibly disheartened after the verdict.

Mackey was killed on November 25, 2017, after a police chase that started at the junction of Fox Hill and Yamacraw Road.

During the high-speed pursuit, Mackey reportedly hit five vehicles, swerved to avoid authorities and ran through two police blockades.

The front left wheel of Mackey’s white Honda Accord eventually blew out as three police cruisers chased him.

As Mackey passed a blockade near Bay Lily Drive, Sgt 340 Fox and PC 3620 Dormeus opened fire, striking him in the back of his head. His vehicle reportedly decelerated before crashing into the traffic light on Savannah Avenue and Golf Course Blvd.

He was pronounced dead later that night at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Ashton Chandler, the man whose car Mackey hit before the chase, said Mackey appeared drunk. Although a photograph showed an unopened beer bottle in Mackey’s car after the shooting, results from a toxicology report were never presented in court and it was unclear whether one had been done.

During his closing statement, K Melvin Munroe, the lawyer for the officers, asked the jury to put themselves in the place of the officers as they allegedly faced a threat from a car speeding toward them. He encouraged them to make a justifiable homicide finding.

Ryszard Humes, the lawyer for the deceased’s estate, emphasized during his closing statement that no gun or spent bullet casings were collected from Mackey’s car.

He also rejected testimony that the deceased’s car outraced the police cars and reached speeds up to 80mph after his tyre blew out.

Mr Humes argued that the shooting was unlawful, saying the danger had passed by the time Mackey passed the officers and was shot in the back of his head.

Acting Coroner Kara Turnquest Deveaux presided over the inquest, which does not determine criminal or civil liability.

Patrick Sweeting marshalled the evidence.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.