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Andre Smith, one of the 28 accused on trial for being a member of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang, was killed by gunmen in a section of St Andrew on Wednesday.
The death of the accused was confirmed by his attorney, Alexander Shaw on Thursday afternoon.
“I heard that his (Smith’s) family identified his body this afternoon (Thursday). He was gunned down last night (Wednesday),” Shaw told Talkupditingsdem News in an interview.
He said that the shooting occurred approximately “a minute” outside Smith’s gate. However, Shaw said he was not certain of the specific address.
The attorney said that as part of Smith’s bail condition, he wasn’t to reside in St Catherine and was living in St Andrew. He said his client was employed by a pan chicken vendor and met his demise after delivering some chickens and was on route home.
“Within the vicinity of his home, two bikers approached him and started firing shots at him… He was rushed to the hospital where was undergoing surgery yesterday (Wednesday) evening, and he never made it this morning,” Shaw told Talkupditingsdem News.
The defence lawyer said Smith’s mother is “devastated” by the news of her son’s killing.
Meanwhile, Shaw said there was the likelihood that Smith would’ve been acquitted at the end of the One Don trial. The matter is on break until September 19.
Smith had been implicated by one of the gangsters-turned-state-witnesses of beating two men at a playing field in Rivoli in Spanish Town, St Catherine. Though the witness never saw the murder, he had subsequently been informed that the two men were killed.
Shaw said his client was only indicted on two counts related to that incident.
“The count that he was on was a very tenuous count in the sense that the witness would have included somebody on the scene of the alleged offence, and that person was in custody at the time,” the attorney explained.
“There was a conspiracy… and they were saying that some of the men, including Andre Smith, were beating two men, and one of the accused persons who the witness would have given evidence that was very integral in the whole planning and the conspiracy, that person — we later found out in court — was in custody,” he continued.
“So that count was bound to fail…. and that count was what would have grounded the umbrella count, which is being a part of a criminal organisation. So (with) that count failing, it means the other count would have failed,” he added.
Shaw pointed out, as well, that Smith was the only accused on bail and he was attending court from September last year.
“The very fact that he was employed while going to the biggest trial in the island, it speaks to, in my view, his intention or his desire to be rehabilitated and to get a new lease on life,” he said.
“It is a very sad and unfortunate ending,” Shaw said of Smith’s murder.
His killing brings the number of accused remaining on trial to 27, a further reduction from the 33 defendants who were originally on trial.
Five people were freed earlier this year due to insufficient evidence.
When contacted, a representative of the police’s Corporate Communications Unit said while it had information of a murder of a man known as Andre Smith, she could not confirm that it was the same accused linked to the One Don faction of the Clansman trial.
The police report stated, however, that “29-year-old Andre Smith of Watley Avenue, Kingston 11 was shot and killed on Hagley Park Road in St Andrew on Wednesday, August 10.”
The report said the man was driving a motor car along the roadway when two men aboard a motorcycle drove up beside him and opened gunfire at him.
The man attempted to drive away but crashed at a section of the road. The police were alerted and he was assisted to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.