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Cops renew appeal for info on murder of Seaview teen

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Cops renew appeal for info on murder of Seaview teen

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 10, 2019

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The St Andrew South police are again appealing to residents in and around Seaview Gardens to share whatever information they have that will assist in apprehending the men who murdered 15-year-old Cleon Morgan on Monday.

The Penwood High School student was on his way home when he was stabbed multiple times by three men on Block C in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew.

Superintendent of Police Gary Francis told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday that the cops have not received any information that could have led to an arrest.

“As a matter of fact, we are still trying to find a witness. That should not be a challenge. If you are afraid to talk, call 311,” Francis pleaded.

On Tuesday, Penwood High School Principal Donna McLaren described Cleon as decent, loving soul.

“He was respectful to all his peers and those in authority. He was here yesterday when we launched Education Week and he spoke to me in the afternoon because he does not take part in any educational activities; as school is dismissed, he’s gone home because his mother is sick,” McLaren said.

“I think, because he cared for his mother, that brought out the caring side. He was a very dear student to us. He was a promising student,” she said.

“We usually identify our students from grade nine who will be in the CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) classes, and he was one of them. A very decent student, his deportment, everything was up to standard,” the principal added.

McLaren, while noting that the students are not coping with the tragedy, said counsellors from the Ministry of Education were conducting sessions.

“It is very, very sad when you have a student that dies,” she said.

On Monday evening when the Observer visited the community, the teenager’s mother, Margaret Morgan, who was scheduled to leave the island on Wednesday for medical attention in the United States, said that she was making preparations for her son to leave the community due to ongoing violence.

The mother of four, who was inside her house when she got word of the tragedy, said she became concerned minutes after three when the ninth-grade student did not walk through the gate.

“Mi say, a weh Cleon deh and a three o’clock? Him reach ’round there three 0’clock and dem hold him ’round there and stab him up. Just ’round di road deh suh, just fi come ’round here suh. Cleon nuh do nobody nutten, ask anybody,” the distraught mother said.

She said that her son was a jovial teenager who was loved by everyone.

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Audio-visual tech-fitted buses to secure testimonies from witnesses

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THE Ministry of Justice will be providing two buses, equipped with audio-visual technology, to assist in securing testimonies from witnesses in trial matters.

This was disclosed by portfolio Minister Delroy Chuck who said the vehicles, which will be rolled out soon, will be used to travel to remote areas where witnesses may be located.

These, he said, are among the initiatives underpinning the ministry’s commitment to safeguarding witnesses against intimidation, and advancing their role in the justice process.

The minister’s speech was delivered by executive director of the Legal Aid Council Hugh Faulkner, during the opening of the two-day Witness Care Conference at the Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, Mona, St Andrew, last Friday.

Chuck said other initiatives include equipping 78 courtrooms with digital audio facilities and 19 with audio-visual recording apparatus, noting that “with this technology, witness intimidation will be significantly reduced”.

Additionally, the minister said legislation has been passed to allow witnesses in human trafficking cases being tried in the Circuit Court, to testify before presiding judges without a jury.

“Our goal, mission, and purpose at the Ministry of Justice is to create a first-class justice system that delivers timely justice to all, irrespective of their socio-economic circumstances,” Chuck emphasised.

It is against this background that the ministry is a significant partner in the conference, “because we know that a first-class justice system cannot exist without the proper care and protection of witnesses”.

He expressed the hope that the forum would facilitate stakeholder dialogue on a public awareness campaign, to educate the general populace that locating and procuring witnesses is a “shared responsibility”.

“Discussions will range from creating an enabling environment for witness safety and security to psychosocial interventions and services for witnesses. There will also be a focus on vulnerable witnesses, as well as discussions on designing multi-care systems that involve different agencies,” the minister said.

These engagements, Chuck pointed out, are intended to provide a “wealth of information” that should be used as “critical investments” to yield “tangible results” for the care of witnesses.

This, he added, is imperative in spurring civic-minded Jamaicans into action, and sending a message to the criminal underworld that “witnesses will not cower in fear, but will be motivated to stand and be counted, and play their part in creating a society that is secure, cohesive and just”.

Meanwhile, Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica Laurie Peters, who also spoke, underscored the relationship between the countries in engagements tailored to advance the local justice sector.

“We (Canada) have been a long-standing and steadfast partner with Jamaica, in terms of putting forth, supporting, partnering on a series of reform-focused…reform-centric programmes, all designed to advance a comprehensive and systematic approach to justice modernisation,” Peters said.

In this regard, she said the Canadian Government is honoured to be a partner in the conference’s staging.

The inaugural event is a key activity under the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) project.

The project is a $19.8-million Global Affairs Canada-funded initiative, being implemented by the Justice Ministry and United Nations Development Programme.

It is supporting justice sector reforms through technical-legal assistance; institutional strengthening; and social order.

Peters said the conference forms part of the JUST programme’s social order component, which seeks to facilitate equitable access to justice services for all individuals, particularly the most vulnerable.

“It is commendable that Jamaica has understood and embraced the importance of focusing on witnesses at this time,” she added.

The conference, which ended on Saturday , was intended to discuss and advance solutions for the protection and support of witnesses in the Jamaican judicial system.

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Waite gets ringing endorsements in St Elizabeth NE

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BRAES RIVER, St Elizabeth — Thoughts of the People’s National Party’s (PNP’s) internal presidential campaign were never far away.

However, Comrades focused on Basil Waite at yesterday’s formal launch of his bid here to become the next Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth North Eastern whenever general elections are called.

The seat is currently held by the PNP’s Evon Redman, who has long indicated he will not be seeking re-election after completing his single term.

“This is about PNP unity; we not thinking about internal campaign right now,” claimed Councillor Everton Fisher (PNP, Balaclava Division).

There were discordant notes though, that were completely unrelated to the challenge to party President Dr Peter Phillips by former Cabinet Minister Peter Bunting.

A message from Redman, absent due to family commitments, was met with derisive shouts of “No” from the large crowd.

Redman, in his message read by Region Five Chairman Hopeton McCatty, said the “transition” of the constituency leadership had not always been smooth, but he and Waite were “working at it”.

Waite got ringing endorsements, including from his brother, Councillor Mugabe Kilimanjaro (Ipswich Division, St Elizabeth north-estern), who jarringly insisted that his brother had been “sabotaged” for years by elements in the PNP.

By press time the meeting had briefly taken on the look of a stage show as Comrades awaited the arrival of Dr Phillips, who was scheduled to deliver the main presentation.

St Elizabeth North Eastern is traditionally among the rural strongholds of the PNP.

Waite is set to be challenged by businessman Delroy Slowley, representing the JLP, whenever parliamentary elections are called.

— Garfield Myers

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PM tours Corporate Area projects

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PM tours Corporate Area projects

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) hugs Traffic Warden Tonya Morris during yesterday’s tour of the roadwork in Manor Park, St Andrew, while wishing her birthday greetings.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) examines one of the new pipelines which will replace the old ones in Manor Park, St Andrew, while touring the ongoing road projects in the Corporate Area yesterday with other stakeholders. Looking on is E G Hunter, managing director of National Works Agency. (Photos: Joseph Wellington)


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