It took less than an hour of deliberations for a Supreme Court jury to find Bernard Appolon not guilty of killing a man and seriously injuring a woman during an armed robbery in 2017.
The jury returned with a majority 10-2 verdict of not guilty on charges of murder, attempted murder and armed robbery after just 40 minutes, determining the prosecution did not prove that Appolon, of Hillside Estates, shot and killed Frederick Rigby and injured Alsharicka Stuart, the assistant manageress at the McDonald’s on Madeira Street, as they were about to deposit the restaurant’s earnings just after 9 p.m. on September 4, 2017.
Appolon showed no emotion as the jury forewoman announced the verdicts.
The prosecution’s case centered on the eyewitness testimony of an off-duty policeman who claimed that he saw the entire crime unfold.
The officer was at a nearby restaurant when he allegedly saw Appolon driving a Honda Civic that followed the Ford Taurus that Rigby and Stuart were in.
Sensing that something was about to happen, the officer said that he sprinted 100 feet to the shopping center opposite CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and saw Appolon and another man firing at the car.
Appolon’s lawyer, Patrick Mackey, suggested that the officer had a personal vendetta against his client because of an unpaid loan.
Appolon in his testimony said that he was at home with family and friends between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on the date in question.
He did not call any witnesses in support of his alibi.
However, Justice Vera Watkins warned the jurors that they were not to reach a decision based on the weaknesses of the defendant’s case.
T’shura Ambrose and Jameca Basden prosecuted.