Mavado’s son won’t appear in front of a jury when his trial date arrives.
New developments in dancehall artiste Mavado’s son murder case are that Dante Brooks, 18, will be tried as an adult in court soon, but it won’t be a jury trial. According to The STAR, Brooks is slated to appear in front of a judge only for his murder trial on January 7, 2021.
Brooks was accused of jointly murdering Lorenzo Thomas of Cassava Piece, Kingston, Jamaica. The teenager who has been in custody since 2018 was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, shooting with intent, arson, and conspiracy to murder along with his co-accused Andre Hines, 23.
Since he is now 18 years old, Brooks will be tried as an adult after spending the last couple of years in a juvenile detention facility. While he has denied the charges in court, he is yet to be granted any form of release. Brooks has reportedly had multiple bail applications denied throughout the course of his incarceration.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, jury trials have been temporarily suspended in Jamaica. Brooks’ lawyer Peter Champagnie says the decision to appear before a judge only was a deliberate one. “This decision was arrived at, having taken into consideration a number of factors. Our client is confident that when all the evidence is heard, he will be vindicated,” the attorney told The STAR.
According to Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, about 99% of trials can be accommodated by just the judge during this period. They reserve the jury trial for murder cases where the death penalty is in play. That is not the case with Mavado’s son’s trial, which made him eligible to opt for no jury.
Brooks may have escaped some pressure by excusing the jury but that doesn’t mean he won’t be pressured by the judge come January 7.
Dante Brooks was arrested in June, 2018, after Mavado fled Jamaica fearing he too would be arrested and tried for murder. The arrest came mere days after Mavado was shot at in Cassava Piece leaving him fleeing the community in a hail of gunshots. Lorenzo Thomas’ killing is reportedly a reprisal for Vado’s shooting, according to law enforcement officials.