Court rules that teen’s murder confession was inadmissible

Two men convicted of the same crime got different results in the Court of Appeal yesterday.

Glenardo Johnson and Livingston Woodside were convicted of the 2012 contract killing of Owen Rose Sr. at Washingston Street.

The prosecution alleged that the pair split the $10,000 payout for the hit — and Woodside, then 19, used his share to purchase a car.

Justices of Appeal Sir Michael Barnett, Jon Isaacs and Milton Evans ordered Johnson’s release from custody after allowing his appeal; however, his alleged partner-in-crime will have to serve his 40-year sentence.

In the case of Johnson, the court found that the judge was wrong to allow his confession into evidence.

Johnson was just 16 when he allegedly confessed to the crime in the presence of his mother’s boyfriend, who stood in for her at the police station when she left for work.

The court accepted that the boyfriend was an appropriate adult to accompany the minor, but found that police had failed to explain why he was there.

The court said that the boyfriend’s role was to advise the person being questioned; to observe whether the interview was conducted properly; and to facilitate communication with the person being interviewed.

Despite having those duties, police stopped the boyfriend from asking a question during the video recorded interview.

These failings, the court said, made the admission of the confession unfair.

Woodside also challenged the admission of his confession at appeal, but the court found that the judge made no error in allowing it into evidence.

The court also rejected an appeal against the unduly harsh sentence of 40 years.

The court said, “This was a contract killing. He killed a man that he did not know and with whom he had no grievance for no reason other than money. Notwithstanding his young age, the sentence is within the range stated by this court in Larry Raymond Jones and could not be considered too harsh.”

Christina Galanos appeared for Johnson and Sonia Timothy appeared for Woodside.

Vernal Collie and Camille Gomez-Jones appeared for the DPP.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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