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November 9, 2007
‘Rambo’, ‘Crimo’ acquitted of double murder charge

The murderer or murderers of Brian “Free-I” Lewis and George “Nikki” Browne are still on the loose.{{more}}

Sylvester “Rambo” Allen, 29, of Peruvian Vale, and Atiba “Crimo” Waldron, 28, of Paul’s Avenue, were on Wednesday acquitted of the double murders of Lewis and Browne when Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle upheld a no case submission.

Only two of nine witnesses called by the prosecution were present to give evidence in the matter.

In the absence of the jury, defence counsel Nicole Sylvester submitted that the prosecution failed to prove that there was any case for her clients to answer and that the identification of those responsible had not been proven.

Sylvester argued that the key witness in the matter was totally discreditable and tenuous and it should not be left to the jury to be the judges of the facts in the case.

Both men had their lives snatched from them on October 8, 2005, at about 3 p.m., when a jeep pulled up alongside them in Rose Place and opened gunfire. Both men died on the spot.

When the key witness took the stand on Tuesday, he said that he was sitting at the roadside in Rose Place with Browne, Lewis and others when he saw a tinted blue Suzuki Escudo four door jeep with license plate RL734 slowly approaching from the opposite direction. Pierre told the court that the vehicle had stopped about 10 feet from them when the left back window rolled down and a gun appeared.

The witness said shots started firing and he moved alongside the building to seek refuge. “While I was moving, I could have seen the driver’s face and it was Crimo because he was not wearing any mask.”

The witness stated that the man holding the gun in the back of the vehicle had a bandana wrapped around his nose bridge and a black hat over his head. “I was watching straight in the jeep and I could see his eyes,” the witness said. After the smoke cleared, the witness said he saw both Free-I and Nikki lying dead in a pool of blood. However, second defence counsel Stephen Williams argued that in the first statement given to the police, the witness never mentioned the names of Crimo and Rambo and that he only said he saw “the man.” The witness was, however, adamant that he gave both names, but Station Sergeant Sydney James, who interviewed him, did not record it. Also in part of the witness’ statement read, it stated, “I wasn’t in a position to see who the driver of the vehicle was.”

The Court heard that when the October 14, 2005, publication of the SEARCHLIGHT printed pictures of Crimo and Rambo on the front page, this was the time Pierre in a second statement to the police on October 28,2005, said that he recognized Rambo’s eyes from the picture printed in the paper as being the same ones that were staring at him on the day of the murders.

With the aid of a hat and a bandana, Williams demonstrated how the gunman may have covered his face. “It is no way in hell you could have seen who the driver and shooter of the vehicle was.” Williams stated.

Under cross-examination of second and final witness Sergeant Selwyn Jack, Counsel Sylvester asked if any gunshot residue testing had been done, any fingerprint testing, an identification parade or photographs shown to any prosecution witness, Jack replied, “No!”

“Your Lordship, the prosecution case lies in contradiction, and the whole story is based on doubt as to identification, and the two statements given could not identify who the persons were,” Sylvester submitted.

“There is no post mortem, no medical evidence and no link between RL734 and the men. What is the prosecution lying on, suspicion?” asked Sylvester.

Another key witness who was absent was Carlisle “Saddam” Joseph, of Mc Kies Hill, who was shot dead in Rose Place on October 21, 2006, a year after Free-I and Nikki’s murders.

The other defence lawyer in the matter was Samantha Robertson.