A St. Catherine based Police Corporal has been freed of a murder charge, stemming from an incident that occurred 16 years ago.
A tearful Mark Richards exited the prisoner’s dock in the St. Catherine Circuit Court earlier today (February 4), after been told by Justice Lorna Shelly Williams that he was free to go.
Richards was charged with murder following a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions, in relation to the death of 24 year old Andrew Wilson.
Its alleged that in October 2003, Corporal Richards was on duty in Spanish Town when he signaled a car to stop.
The driver disobeyed and a chase ensued.
Its reported that during a subsequent shootout involving persons on board the vehicle and police officers, Wilson was shot dead.
Corporal Richards made over 50 court appearances and maintained his innocence throughout.
In court today, it was revealed that the some of the witnesses had migrated while others could not be located.
Upon being freed, Richards reportedly wept in court, and lamented the many years that the case dragged on for, pointing out that now he will be able to rebuild his life.
Meantime, Defence Lawyer Valerie Nieta Robertson stated that the case has taken a toll on her client, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
She said Richards should have been vindicated long ago, but was being unduly punished by the very justice system he serves, resulting in severe grief and distress.