A police officer on Thursday recounted that murder accused Raheim Ricardo O’Neil Hinds claimed he threw a stone at Michael Yearwood in self-defense.
That was the evidence of Station Sergeant Ainsley Gittens when Hinds’ trial continued in the No. 5A Supreme Court.
Hinds, of Phillip’s Road, Pinelands, St Michael, is charged with murdering Yearwood on March 26, 2015.
He is alleged to have struck Yearwood with a stone on March 11, 2015, which eventually caused his death.
Gittens recalled that on March 25, 2015, in the presence of Sergeant Trevor Reece, Hinds was arrested and charged with committing serious bodily harm to Yearwood.
He said at that time Yearwood was still alive.
The police officer said they told the accused they had been informed that Yearwood was struck in the head and back with stones and injured and they suspected he was the person who inflicted the injuries.
Gittens said Hinds replied, “I only hit he with one rock.”
The witness said Hinds was subsequently taken to the Psychiatric Hospital for an assessment.
However, the police officer said on April 24, 2015, Hinds, who at the time was on remand at Dodds, was brought to Central Police Station and subsequently charged with murder following Yearwood’s death.
The police officer said when Hinds was asked if he had anything to say he responded, “The man attack me and my little brother with a sword.”
The officer said Hinds told them he did not know where the stone was, as after throwing it at Yearwood he ran off, not knowing if Yearwood had been hit.
Under questioning from Acting Director of Public Prosecution Alliston Seale, Gittens told the court that Reece, the lead investigator in the matter, had retired medically unfit and was now unable to speak.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Arthur Holder, Gittens admitted that he was just the “back-up” officer in the matter and he could not recall if he had interviewed any other witnesses.
Justice Christopher Birch adjourned the matter until September 28.
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