Crime — 04 October 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett
Jeffrey Flowers and Jermaine Belgrave, both 31, acquitted of attempted murder and aggravated assault charges

Flowers and Belgrave were accused of trying to kill cops Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner

This evening, a 9-member jury returned not guilty verdicts for Jeffrey Flowers and Jermaine Belgrave, both 31, who were accused of shooting at police officers Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner.

The trial started on September 26 in Justice Adolph Lucas’ court, where the men were each charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault on PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner – charges which were as a result of a shootout on March 26, 2010.

The first witness to take the stand was PC Grinage, who testified that he and PC Banner were on mobile patrol on Baghdad Street when he saw Belgrave and Flowers, both of whom he had known for several years.

Grinage said that when he saw the men, he shouted out Belgrave’s name and told the driver of the police vehicle to stop. He said he pursued the men, who had started to run, and even identified himself as a police officer. When the men heard that, they each pulled out a pistol and started shooting in his direction. Grinage said he was close enough to the men when they started firing the guns, that he saw the light from the blast of the gun.

After taking fire from the men, Grinage dropped to the ground and returned fire on the men, but missed his mark. The men then ran from Baghdad Street, into Water Lane, where he continued to pursue them, but was fired upon again by the men.

Again, Grinage dropped to the ground to avoid being hit and returned fire on the men, who then ran into West Street then Cemetery Road. Grinage said he pursued the men and saw them run into Pregnant Alley, but when he got into the alley, he had lost sight of the men.

PC Banner’s testimony was similar to Grinage’s, but discrepancies in testimony from other witnesses arose, which led the jury to doubt the officers’ testimonies.

Testimony from the scenes of crime technician was that the area was poorly lit, which directly conflicted with what the officers said. Grinage said the area was lit enough by the lamppost light that he could clearly see the faces of Flowers and Belgrave.

Belgrave, who was represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, took the stand and told the court that at the time of the alleged shooting, he was at a football game at the MCC Grounds, and called two witnesses who provided alibis for him.

Flowers, who was unrepresented and is confined to a wheelchair after being shot on July 29, 2011, also gave sworn testimony and told the court that on the night of the alleged shooting, he was in Biscayne Village, but did not provide any alibi witnesses.

The jury retired at 3:08 this evening and returned after a little more than an hour, at 4:43, with unanimous not guilty verdicts on the four counts for each of them.

Flowers was free to leave the court after receiving the good news, but Belgrave was returned to prison, where he is currently on remand for an unrelated matter.

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