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Cop charged with execution-style killing of two in St. Catherine

A member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who is accused of the execution-style killing of two men in St. Catherine, seven years ago, has been charged.
 
This follows a probe by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI).
 
Constable Michael Lawrence was charged Friday morning with two counts of murder and two counts of wounding following a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
 
He later appeared before the St. Catherine Parish Court where he was offered bail in the sum of $750,000.
 
Constable Lawrence was ordered to surrender his travel documents and report to the Office of the Commissioner of Police three times per week.
 
A stop order was also imposed.
  
The policeman is to return to court on November 29.
 
Prosecutors reported that on March 26, 2011, Richard Ellis and Michael Smith were shot dead during a reported confrontation with a police team along the Williamsfield road near Riversdale in the St. Catherine North Police Division.
 
Two other men were shot during the incident.
 
It was reported that Constable Lawrence and another policeman, Corporal Kenrick Manhertz, stopped a vehicle in which the men were travelling. 
 
The men reportedly alighted the vehicle and pointed guns at the cops who opened fire on them.
 
The four men were shot.
 
Ellis and Smith were pronounced dead at hospital.
 
Three illegal guns were reportedly found inside the vehicle.
 
The two survivors told INDECOM investigators that they were taken out of the vehicle, handcuffed and placed face down on the road.
 
They reported that the policemen stood over them and opened fire.
 
During Friday's bail hearing, defence attorney Peter Champagnie pointed to the result of the post-mortem which revealed that the men were shot in the front of their bodies and not in the back as stated by the witnesses.
 
The DPP has also ruled that Corporal Manhertz be charged in the case, however, the court was told that he is now overseas.
 


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