Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Men charged with murder of Kingston salesman freed

Published:Saturday | March 4, 2023 | 1:14 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter

Two men implicated in last June’s murder of a Kingston salesman who was reportedly shot and robbed of his motorcar in St Mary, by three men who he had taken to the parish, were freed of murder and gun charges in the St Mary Parish Court.

Nicholas Wright, 34, of Constant Spring, Kingston 8, was shot in his neck and killed on June 22 in a housing scheme in the parish.

Charged was Markeion ‘Tollo’ Slater, 22, who claimed he was Wright’s friend but was reportedly one of the men who had travelled with Wright to St Mary.

While the other man, Carl ‘Jango’ Campbell, a 61- year-old Manchester resident, was accused of driving Wright’s car to a garage in Manchester for work to be done on the car.

Both men were facing murder, robbery with aggravation, illegal possession of firearm and illegal possession of ammunition and receiving stolen properties charges.

However, during a committal hearing on Tuesday, the prosecution conceded that there was no prima facie case against them, meaning that the essential ingredients to prove the charges have not been made out.

The police had charged the men after Campbell was positively identified as the man who had taken the victim’s car to the garage and based on information that the cell site data had placed Slater in the parish on the night of the murder. However, the data was not submitted.

Parish Judge Simone Walker- McFarlane, as a result, agreed that there was no nexus between the men and the murder.

“How did we even get here, I am still wondering,” she remarked. “ I see no connection despite the extensive bundle.”

Allegations are that on the day in question, Slater and two other men accompanied Wright to the housing scheme where he was killed and his car, a white Toyota Probox motorcar, was stolen.

Cash in the amount of $35,000 was reportedly found in Wright’s pants pocket when police arrived on the scene.

On July 1, the stolen car was tracked to a garage in Manchester, where it was found and taken to the Mandeville Police Station.

The police were reportedly informed that Campbell brought the stolen car to the garage and paid $40,000, as part payment to carry out body and paint work on the car.

The police were further told that Jango and another man described as being of a brown complexion with thick lips, sideburns and plaited hairdo had visited his garage with the car.

Campbell was arrested shortly after and when cautioned he said, “When mi reach over deh mi mek dem know wa a gwaan.”

When informed about the charges he was facing, he reportedly said, “A Mark responsible fi di car mi nuh know nutten bout it.”

Slater, who the police had described as fitting the description of the man who had accompanied Jango to the garage, was also arrested in Trelawny.

A police investigator who had reportedly received information from the police Communication Forensics and Cybercrime Division informed Slater that police have found that both his phone and Wright’s were connected to the Huddersfield cell site in St Mary on the night Wright was murdered.

As a result, Slater was told that the police believed that he was present with Wright up to the time of his death and had robbed him of his car.

But Slater reportedly said, “Mi nuh know how that happen, mi never come a St Mary and Nicholas a mi friend.”

Both men were later placed on an identification parade and Campbell was positively identified while Slater was not.

The witness had reportedly indicated that Slater looked like the person that he had seen with Campbell. But on a closer look, the witness reportedly said Slater looked bigger than the person whom he had seen and as a result, he was not sure.

Attorney-at-law Kemoy McEkrom represented Campbell while Jermaine Campbell represented Slater.