The appellate court has quashed the conviction of a man accused of the attempted murder of a former cell mate.
Franklyn Edgecombe, otherwise known as Chilly, was convicted of the March 2013 attempted murder of Leonardo Kirkwood Rolle, who was shot while he sat in a car outside his home on Anderson Street. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Rolle was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital and a week after the shooting identified his assailant as Chilly.
During his testimony, Rolle said that he knew Edgecombe from prison. He also testified that he sat next to Edgecombe in the cell.
A police officer also testified that Rolle selected Edgecombe’s photo from a rogues’ gallery.
His lawyer, Sonia Timothy, convinced the court that the trial judge made crucial errors in her summation to the jury on identification and the treatment of prejudicial evidence.
In a ruling delivered on Monday by Acting Justice of Appeal Sir Michael Barnett, he said that the trial judge failed to properly caution the jury on how to deal with the prejudicial evidence.
Barnett said, “The jury should have been told that it must not assume that because he has previously been incarcerated and his photo was in a police gallery that it was or may be relevant to his likelihood of having committed this offense.”
In the judge’s direction on the issue of identification, Barnett said that the judge failed to highlight that another eyewitness said that he could not see the shooter’s face because of what the shooter was wearing, but that Rolle said that he could see the appellant’s face.
The judge also did not draw the jury’s attention to the fact Rolle did not identify the appellant as the shooter until one week after the incident.
Justices of Appeal Jon Isaacs and Roy Jones agreed with the findings.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Vernal Collie appeared for the Crown.
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