Man sentenced for murder of Portia’s bodyguard

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THE man found guilty of the September 2007 murder of a police sergeant, who was the bodyguard of then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbery with aggravation, and 25 years for murder.

However, while both sentences are to run concurrently and Veron Irving was to serve 15 years before becoming eligible for parole, the 12 years that he had spent on remand makes him eligible for release in three years.

On Thursday, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) said that the sentence was handed down by Justice Evan Brown on May 31 in the Home Circuit Court.

On September 6, 2007, about 7:00 pm, Sergeant Egerton Brown, former close protection officer of Simpson Miller, was killed while visiting his girlfriend’s home on Sundown Crescent in St Andrew.

Brown and his girlfriend were sitting in his yellow Nissan Lucino motor car when they were pounced upon by Irving and another man known only as “Tyson”. The cop and his girlfriend were ordered to exit the car and the thieves proceeded to rob Brown of his cellular phone and cash. During the robbery, a struggle ensued between Irving and the cop at which point the girlfriend ran from the scene.

Irving and his crony then robbed the policeman of his licensed Glock 17 9mm pistol and used it to shoot him.

The thieves fled the scene in Brown’s motor car and abandoned it close by at a place called “No Man’s Land” on Bay Farm Road. Sometime later, Brown’s girlfriend returned to the scene and took him to Kingston Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

During the trial, the ODPP called 19 witnesses, one of whom gave evidence that some days after the killing of Sergeant Brown, Irving admitted to shooting “Portia’s bodyguard”. He further stated that Irving, some days after his admission, asked him to hold on to the same firearm taken from the deceased.

Irving told the witness that he was going into hiding because he was “hot”. Later that same evening, the firearm was retrieved by a friend of Irving.

In late September, the same firearm belonging to Sergeant Brown was recovered by police after it was involved in an alleged robbery. A lead from that investigation resulted in the police apprehending Irving on October 4, 2007. He was subsequently charged.

“DNA evidence at trial was used by the prosecution to place the accused at the scene. The DNA recovered from the deceased’s vehicle and mouth matched the DNA sample taken from the accused, with his consent.

“The defence refuted all claims and the accused chose to remain silent at trial, calling only one character witness,” the ODPP said in a release yesterday.

At the conclusion of the trial on December 14, 2018, a seven-member jury returned a unanimous verdict for the offences of robbery with aggravation and murder of Sergeant Brown.

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