COA quashed conviction, citing “insufficient admissible evidence”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The man jailed for 35 years for the shooting death of Marcus Miller in January 2014 yesterday has his sentenced quashed and will be set free.
Court of Appeal Justices Roy Jones, Justice Stella Crane-Scott and Justice Jon Isaacs found that the trial judge ought to have acceded to the submission of no case to answer as there was “insufficient admissible evidence disclosed for the appellant to be called upon to present a case”.
In its judgement delivered yesterday, the Court of Appeal said it was a case where there was evidence against the appellant, but it was of a “tenuous nature” and the quality of the identifying evidence was not good.
Jermaine Missick, 30, was convicted in the murder of Miller based, who was shot in the face at Gibson’s Bar on Carmichael Road on January 6.
Miller died eight days later.
He was transported to hospital and reportedly told his father that a man name ‘Blue’ shot him.
The day following the attack, Miller filed a police complaint against the appellant, whom he referred to as ‘Bats’, and ‘Blue’, saying they were responsible for his injuries.
During an identification lineup on January 31, 2014, Tyson Cargill, a witness, identified Missick as one of the people responsible for the shooting death of Miller.
However, Cargill died before the trial. While he was unable to give oral evidence, he had given a statement to the police.
There were other witnesses — Sebastian Kerr, Lamont Strachan and Jia Jie Lan — however, none were able to identify any of the shooters.
Missick was convicted of the murder in May 2017, and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
The appellate court ruled, “There is no gainsaying to my mind that there were two individuals involved in the shooting of Marcus on the day in question.
“The injury sustained by Marcus was indicative of a handgun such as he claimed Blue had.
“The discovery of an unfired shotgun shell at the scene and the evidence of Kerr, Strachan and Lan supports Marcus’ claim that a person carrying a shotgun was also present.
“However, the crucial issue is whether the identification of the appellant as the individual with the shotgun by Marcus is reliable and accurate.”
“A matter which may have impacted Marcus’ identification, if the statement of the appellant to the police is to be believed, to wit, he and the appellant had a physical altercation in 2012, is an apparent animus between himself and the appellant.
“Therefore, when he provided the information as to who he believed was responsible for his shooting, he may have been influenced by his previous encounter with the appellant.
“In other words, the apparent animus between him and the appellant may have caused him to single out the appellant as one of the shooters.”
The court ultimately ruled that the case was not an appropriate one for the “application of the proviso contained in section 13 of the Court of Appeal Act nor is it appropriate to require the appellant to undergo another trial”.
Nathan Smith represented the intended appellant.
Attorney Patrick Sweeting represented the intended respondent.