Categorized | National News

Inquest Into CDU Suspect’s Death Begins

Two witnesses testified in a Coroner’s Inquest yesterday that will determine how one of two suspects died while in police custody.

Jamie Smith, 35, died at the Central Detective Unit (CDU) on February 8.

A pathologist determined that his cause of death was asphyxia – a lack of oxygen.

Inspector Ezra Maycock, Sergeant Keno Smith, Corporal Brian Roache and Corporal Sterlin Knowles are on administrative leave in relation to Smith’s death.

Taking the stand on Thursday was Sergeant Roger Major, who is attached to the Serious Crimes section at CDU.

He told the court that he did not know the victim as Jamie Smith but as Matthew Pratt.

The witness said other officers referred to the victim by that name and that’s how Smith introduced himself when he came to CDU on February 8.

Major said he met Smith because he sat in on an interview between him and Corporal Knowles, whom he has known for 18 years through the police force.

He said Smith was accused of the armed robbery of Titan Web Café.

Major said during the interview, which occurred around 2:40 p.m., Smith admitted he took part in the armed robbery with several other people.

He said Smith willingly gave a statement, but refused to sign it.

Major, who is in charge of the Stolen Vehicles section of CDU, said after the interview he went back to his desk in the general investigations section.

The officer said at no time during the interview was Smith threatened or assaulted.

He added that Smith never made any complaints.

Major said some time later, he heard screams coming from Inspector Maycock’s office.

He said Maycock was calling for someone to get some handcuffs for him.

Major said a number of officers rushed to Maycock’s office but he didn’t move until two to five minutes later because he did not have any handcuffs.

He said when he got to Maycock’s office his view was obscured by other officers.

But the witness said he was told that “everything was under control.”

Major told the court that he later went to Maycock’s office and observed Smith sitting on the floor with his back against a chair and his head hanging down.

He said he knew something was wrong but thought Smith had passed out.

Also taking the stand yesterday was Smith’s sister Cara Munroe.

She told the court that she had not seen her brother in about a year but the last time she spoke with him he appeared healthy.

Additionally, Ms. Munroe said she only knew of one injury that he had.

She said Smith had gotten into a bad motorcycle accident about 10 years ago and had severely injured his right arm to the point where he could not use it.

Ms. Munroe also told the court that Smith had no alias.

When crossed examined by attorney Wayne Munroe, the witness said she did not know that South Florida authorities were looking for him or that he had a case pending in court here at home.

Ms. Munroe admitted that she did not know much about Smith’s personal life.

Mr. Munroe represents the police officers.

Christina Galanos and Raymond Rolle represent the Smith family.

The matter continues before Acting Coroner Jeanine Weech Gomez on May 8.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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