Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator of the Gleaner provided us with an update on the case.
Dwayne Owen and Andrew West have been found guilty of the murder HIV/AIDS activist, Steve Harvey.
Harvey was abducted from his home by gunmen who robbed him of several items, and then shot him.
His body was found on November 30, 2005.
Following a three week trial, a 12-member jury retired for almost four hours today, before returning the unanimous verdict.
The men now await sentencing on September 26.
Prosecutors Kathy Pryce and Karen Seymour Johnson have asked that they be given the death penalty.
Four persons were originally arrested and later charged with the murder in 2005.
However, the murder charges against the two accused, Ryan Wilson and Chevaughn Gibson were dropped earlier this month.
Wilson was freed, after almost 9 years behind bars, when the court heard that he could not have committed the crime as he was in custody at the Constant Spring Police Station at the time that Harvey was murdered.
Gibson has instead been charged with misprision of felony for knowingly concealing a crime.
She is to return to court on September 9 to answer to that charge.
Ryan Wilson was freed of murder the week before in the Home Circuit Court after it was revealed that he was in custody at the Constant Spring Police station at the time of the alleged crime.
Harrison Henry says what happened to Wilson is indicative of the dereliction of duty by agents of the State.
She further says having someone in custody almost nine years for a crime he did not commit is a gross violation of his Constitutional rights.
She says it’s not enough for the State to compensate him for the terrible ordeal, but those who did not do their jobs must be held accountable.
Attorney-at-law Ernest Davis, who is representing Wilson, says his client will be filing a lawsuit seeking damages against the Government.
You may recall for those who knew him and who follow this blog one of my original posts: On the evening of November 30, 2005, at approximately 1:00am, Harvey and his roommates were robbed at gunpoint in their home, his roommates were bound, and Harvey was abducted. A gunman reportedly yelled "We hear that you are gay" to the trio. Harvey's body was found two hours later, early the next morning, a few miles in the hills overlooking Kingston, with gunshot wounds in his head and back.
Steve Harvey's killing has resulted in a far-reaching public outcry against the government of Jamaica, which has been accused of ignoring violence against homosexuals.
Several organizations, including the United Nations have demanded a thorough investigation of the homicide.
In March 2006, four people were charged with the killing.
It was in that same year he was selected as LACCASO's (Latin America and Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations) project coordinator for Jamaica and was about to launch into bigger an better things.
A Life cut short.
His work with the MSM population was EXEMPLARY (yet to be duplicated) I had the pleasure of working with him while he was a member of the GLABCOM, gay lesbian, bisexual community steering committee arm of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, JASL in the late nineties through to his death.
The pic above depicting a happier moment of him, "BIG NOSE" as some would tease him, he never liked it lol.
He lived for politics and current affairs, always debating with someone about his favourite political party and if he never agreed with you his face made it very clear lol.
We Miss You Boi!!!
October 14, 2011 Update As for the political saga that ensued he would have lived for it and also the upcoming elections constitutionally due in 2012 he would have sided with his favourite party the Peoples National Party PNP who are now in administration and who also still enjoy most of the LGBT support despite siding with government on the invented gay marriage debate as a side bar to the Charter of Rights Debate in 2008/9.
I know he would have enjoyed the "working, working working" mantra Mrs Simpson Miller has taken on these days in her public utterances although the results are entirely different matter one could argue and that we have prior to his murder on many occasions.
Another one of our strong voices taken out unjustly.
"The local justice system and the police force have again come in for sharp criticism after a man was held in custody for nine years for a crime he could not have committed.
Ryan Wilson, 25, of Grants Pen, St Andrew, was arrested in 2005 and charged with the murder of Jamaica AIDS Support coordinator, 30-year-old Lenford 'Steve' Harvey.
But on the day of his arrest, Wilson told the police that he could not have been involved in the killing because he was in custody at the Constant Spring Police Station at the time that Harvey was murdered.
Investigators failed to check the station diary to determine if Wilson was indeed in custody at the time, and charged him along with Dwayne Owen, Andrew West and the lone female, Chevaughn Gibson, for the crime.
Over the next seven years, several lawyers represented Wilson before attorney-at-law Ernest Davis was assigned by the court two years ago to represent him.
Davis told The Sunday Gleaner that while interviewing Wilson some time this year, the young man again insisted that he was innocent because he was in custody at the time of the murder.
"I began to do my investigation and so I went to the Constant Spring Police Station and requested that the station diary for 2005 be checked to verify what my client told me," explained Davis.
He said he was told the diary could not be found but he made several visits to the station in the hope that it was found.
Two months ago, the police reported that the station diary was found and it was verified that Wilson was telling the truth.
Davis brought the matter to the attention of the prosecutor in the case and Wilson was freed last Monday when he appeared with his three co-accused before Justice Lloyd Hibbert in the Home Circuit Court.
According to Davis, Wilson will be filing a lawsuit seeking damages against the Government for his ordeal.
The attorney slammed the police for their failure to check on Wilson's alibi as he argued that there was no justification for keeping Wilson in custody for so long.
Davis described the case as a "cooked-up one", as he pointed out that it was one of the co-accused who gave a statement alleging that Wilson was at the murder scene.
Wilson also has the support of several members of the local legal fraternity who described his case as a horrific travesty of justice.
"This makes a mockery of the Constitution, that a trial should take place without delay irrespective of the charge," charged attorney-at-law Bert Samuels.
"One of the amendments to the law that the prosecution has been seeking is that a defendant should give notice of his alibi. The police, in balancing their duty to the defendant or the complainant, is duty bound to check on the alibi given by any suspect, but more so where that alibi places him in the custody of the police themselves," argued Samuels.
According to attorney-at-law Tom Tavares-Finson, once Wilson told the police that he was in custody at the time of the murder, it was incumbent on them to investigate his alibi.
"So the police were derelict in their duty," added Tavares-Finson, as he charged that the defence lawyer and the prosecutor who initially had the case should also be blamed.
In the meantime, a second accused in the Steve Harvey murder, Gibson, was also freed last Monday while the trial continued with the other two accused, Owen and West.
Attorney-at-law Tamika Harris, who represented Gibson, said her client was 16-year-old when she was arrested.
According to Harris, the Judge's Rules — a set of guidelines about police questioning and the acceptability of the resulting statements and confessions as evidence in court — were breached when Gibson gave a statement while in custody.
FEW AUTHORITIES PRESENT
Harris further explained that no lawyer, justice of the peace or adult relative was present when Gibson gave the statement, and it was on that basis she was freed after this breach was pointed and legal authorities cited.
Harris told The Sunday Gleaner that while she is happy her client was freed, she is disappointed that it took such a long time.
However, Gibson is to return to the court on another charge, of knowing about an offence and concealing it. That case is set for mention on July 25.
Harvey was abducted from his home by gunmen who robbed him of several items, including his debit card, and then shot him. Harvey's body was found on November 30, 2005. Following investigations, all four were arrested and charged with murder in the course of furtherance of robbery."