The Court of Appeal quashed the conviction of a third man accused of murdering a couple on Andros.
In a decision delivered on July 16, the appellate court overturned James Johnson’s conviction for the 2013 murders of Senior Immigration Officer Shane Gardiner and his lover Tishka Braynen and directed a retrial as a soon as possible.
Three days earlier, the court quashed the convictions of Zintworn “Scummy” Duncombe and Cordero Saunders.
In all cases, the three-judge panel found that the trial judge mishandled reports of an altercation between the jury foreperson and an alternate juror, resulting in a “material irregularity”.
On learning of the dispute, the court said the judge was required to hold an inquiry in open court to determine if the panel could reach a “true verdict”.
Prosecutors alleged that the couple was shot execution-style during a botched plan to rob Gardiner of his gambling winnings. Wild boar hunters found their decomposed remains at Newbold Farms on Andros almost a month after they were reported missing.
Jurors convicted Duncombe of murder, kidnapping and attempted armed robbery; and Saunders of kidnapping, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery; and Johnson of two counts of murder.