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Thursday 19 September 2019
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Judge-alone murder verdict next week

AFTER five days of judge-alone trial, the State yesterday closed its case and after tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday’s hearing, Justice Gillian Lucky will next week Monday deliver a verdict.

In the country’s first judge-alone trial which began last Wednesday, Kwasi Forde, of Upper Hillside, San Fernando, chose to be tried by Lucky, instead of a jury of 12 of his peers.

The Friday before, Section 2 of the Miscellaneous Provision (Trial by Judge Alone) Act, 2017, was proclaimed by President Paula-Mae Weekes. It allows an accused person to choose whether he or she wishes to be tried by a jury or a judge alone.

Forde is on trial for the October 10, 2005 murder of Gerard Bocas, at Cover Girl Restaurant & Bar, Carib Street, San Fernando. Bocas’ shooting death stemmed from a robbery in which four men entered and announced a hold-up.

State attorney Trevor Jones has called seven witnesses and yesterday he led evidence from Kerrol Green, a patron. IHe said that when the men entered, he heard someone say, “Is a f--king robbery, get on the ground!” The speaker’s face was partially blocked and therefore, Green said, he did not have a full view of it.

Cross-examined by attorney Larry Williams. who is defending Forde, Green said, “Yes, the man who did the shooting was not the accused. The shots came sudden.”

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