Court up­holds con­vic­tions of ex-cop, sis­ter in cab­bie’s mur­der

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Na­dine Wil­son-Har­ris/ Staff Re­porter na­dine.wil­son@glean­erjm.com

AN EX-COP and his sis­ter who were con­victed for the be­head­ing and mur­der of a taxi op­er­a­tor eight years ago were yes­ter­day de­nied leave to ap­peal their con­vic­tion.

Both Jef­frey Peart and his sis­ter, Roxanne Peart, were con­victed of the 2012 mur­der of 48-year old taxi op­er­a­tor Del­roy Frame. The sib­lings were sen­tenced in the Mon­tego Bay Cir­cuit Court in De­cem­ber 2014 to life in prison.

The judg­ment was handed down yes­ter­day by Jus­tice Pa­trick Brooks via Zoom af­ter three days of sub­mis­sions from the sib­lings’ at­tor­neys in the Court of Ap­peal. The at­tor­neys chal­lenged the DNA and bal­lis­tic ev­i­dence as well as call-data records pre­sented by the prose­cu­tion.

But while the re­quest to ap­peal their con­vic­tion was de­nied, the judges granted leave to Jef­frey to ap­peal his sen­tence. His at­tor­ney, Gil­lian Burgess, con­tended that her client was given a sen­tence that is usu­ally re­served for mul­ti­ple counts and he was in cus­tody for two years be­fore sen­tenc­ing.

Jef­frey, who was 26 at the time, was sen­tenced to 35 years be­fore pa­role, while his sis­ter, who was 24, will have to serve at least 16 years. Roxanne, who was seven months preg­nant at the time, had her sen­tence re­duced from 18 years af­ter her at­tor­ney begged for le­niency.

“The ap­peal in re­spect of Mr Jef­frey Peart in re­spect of sen­tence is al­lowed, and the sen­tence of 35 years is set aside and is re­duced to 33 years to ac­count for the time that he spent on re­mand be­fore sen­tence,” said Jus­tice Brooks.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion by Miss Roxanne Peart for leave to ap­peal against the sen­tence is re­fused,” he said.

Sen­tences in both cases are to be reck­oned as hav­ing com­menced on De­cem­ber 17, 2014.

Frame’s head­less body was found in St Ann about one month af­ter he had filed a cor­rup­tion charge against Peart.

Frame had told the An­ti­Cor­rup­tion Branch that the ex-cop tried to so­licit $30,000 from him fol­low­ing a traf­fic ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing their cars. A sting op­er­a­tion was sub­se­quently set up in which Peart was seen col­lect­ing $20,000 from Frame, re­sult­ing in his ar­rest in April 2012. Peart was later placed on sus­pen­sion from the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force.

Frame’s body was dis­cov­ered at Wild Cane, Cave Val­ley, St Ann, on May 19, 2012, and his burntout car found about a mile away at White Sand. Af­ter a five-week trial in the St Ann Cir­cuit Court, a 12-mem­ber jury re­turned a guilty ver­dict af­ter de­lib­er­at­ing for just over two hours.

The Crown ar­gued that Roxanne was in­stru­men­tal in lur­ing Frame to St Ann and led ev­i­dence through call-data records to show that she be­gan call­ing the de­ceased from May 17-19, 2012. They also showed that both ac­cused per­sons were in the cov­er­age area where the body was dis­cov­ered.

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