Front Page
November 6, 2009
Men freed of triple murder

“Freedom was always a must!”

These were the first words uttered by Jason “P2” Henry and Rodney “2B” Roberts as they exited the High Court with broad smiles on Wednesday, November 4, when they were acquitted of a triple homicide charge.{{more}}

“Once you believe in the Almighty, then freedom is a must… that witness been lie from long time,” Henry and Roberts said as family members embraced them.

After nearly one and a half hours of deliberations, a 12-member jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty on each count for both men. Henry, 25, and Roberts, 19, both of Lowmans Leeward, were accused of causing the death of Reuben Small, 22, of Lowmans, Javon “John Wayne” Antoine, 20, Layou, and Ralson Omoro Bowens, 21, on August 9, 2007, about 3 p.m.

Key prosecution witness Claudette Gordon, also known as Lorna Small, told the court that she was about to leave for Kingstown about 3:06 p.m. when she heard gunshots ring out. “I saw Rodney Roberts, Jason Henry and two others… I see Rodney pelt ah bullet after Omoro Bowens and I see Henry shot at Antoine,” Gordon recalled.

Gordon said she then called out to both accused and said: “Look alyo kill the boys them here.” Gordon further added that she started “bawling for all murder” and then called out her son’s name. She said a girl came to her and told her something. Gordon went to where her son resided and met him lying on his back in the yard. “I saw blood running from his nose and head… I lift him up and told him to rest in peace,” she recalled.

It was, however, not until three weeks after her son’s death that Gordon gave the police a statement. In that statement, Gordon said that when James arrived on the crime scene, she told him that it was both accused she saw running away from the scene. No such information was found in the statement, but she was adamant that she told the officer about Henry and Roberts.

Under cross-examination by Arthur Williams, Gordon was accused of lying to the court. “You’re a barefaced liar and I am putting it to you that you never mentioned anything about seeing who shot the men or that Omoro drop by your feet,” Williams stated. In her reply Gordon said: “I was the only person who see them… I came here to speak only the truth, Mr. Williams.”

Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Sydney James in his evidence said that he received certain information on arrival at the crime scene about motor vehicle PE 21 driven by Damian Glasgow. James said he took a statement from Glasgow in relation to the murder and he was released subsequently pending further investigations.

In a statement given on August 30, 2007, Roberts indicated that he was in Kingstown selling ackees when the incident took place. He further added that he got a telephone call from his mother around 3:30 p.m. informing him what had happened.

Four days later, Henry also gave a statement. He said that he was never in “Burgin”, where the incident took place, and he was at the time watching Percy do some work in “Cholera/Spring” area in Lowmans. He further added that he received a telephone call from his brother indicating what had happened to the three men.

In her summation, presiding Judge Justice Gertel Thom pointed out several inconsistencies in the prosecution’s evidence, especially the testimony of the main witness Claudette Gordon.

Justice Thom added that Gordon said in her statement that she saw who shot the men but the officer didn’t write it. “If Gordon told James, the lead investigating officer, who she saw shot the men, wouldn’t he have picked that up?”

Thom further pointed out that the prosecution could have brought evidence to show no such calls were made to any of the accused’s phone on that day. The defense called four witnesses who told the court that the men were not around when the homicides took place.

The judge said there was no evidence that the police were looking for the accused. Thom stated that if Sergeant Rolford Bobb was the first one on the scene, “Wouldn’t she have told him who shot the men?” Bobb, in his evidence, had told the court that he was the first to arrive on the scene and cordoned off the area. In his testimony, he further pointed out that he spoke to Gordon but she never told him about the accused men. Gordon had stated that she never spoke to Bobb that day.

After the jury found them not guilty, Thom told Roberts that he suffered terribly while in prison and lost the opportunity of an education. “You were 17 at the time and I know you can now have the opportunity to make something of yourself and take life seriously so you can contribute to this nation,” Thom advised.

As for Henry, she told him that he is an intelligent and articulate young man that can do something with his time instead of spending all day watching movies and liming on the block.

Carl Williams and Duane Daniel led the case for the prosecution.