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