Men acquitted of robbery charges
A jury yesterday cleared two men of robbing church members during a prayer meeting.
The acquittal of Cravon Lewis and Kenray Rigby occurred days after presiding judge Vera Watkins directed the jury panel to acquit the men of the murder of Michael Knowles, the groundskeeper at the Born Again Deliverance Church on the East West Highway.
Prosecutors alleged that the men killed Knowles before they held up the church, including its pastor Aaron Nixon. However, Justice Watkins ruled that the prosecution did not present enough evidence to support the murder charge at the close of the prosecution’s case.
On Monday, Justice Watkins directed the jury to acquit Michael Beckford of the murder and robbery charges after finding the prosecution had failed to make out a case against him.
According to the prosecution, all three men, in their statements to police, admitted being present at the crime scene.
Sergeant Ambrose Knowles testified that he was present when investigating officer Christian Leary interviewed each suspect. He said all the statements were made voluntarily.
According to Knowles, Rigby said Mikey(Michael Beckford) shot a man outside the church. In his testimony Knowles also said Lewis claimed that Mikey shot the man. Knowles added that Lewis gave an additional statement, which he agreed to have videotaped.
Knowles testified that Beckford said”Snoops”shot the man during a struggle.
Prosecutors allege that the men tied up the church’s pastor, Aaron Nixon, with a microphone cord and robbed three other church members of cash and personal items.
Darnell Dorsette and Francis Cumberbatch prosecuted. Richard Boodle, Terrel Butler and Roger Gomez Jr. made up the defense team.