JFJ welcomes Coroner’s Jury ruling that five people be charged with murder in the Robert “Kentucky Kid” Hill case.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014, Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is pleased with the verdict of the Coroner’s jury in the inquest into the death of Robert Hill also known as “Kentucky Kid”. The inquest into the controversial shooting death of the 37-year-old entertainer began on the 28th September, 2010 in the Kingston and St. Andrew Coroner’s Court. It ended yesterday, Tuesday, August 12, 2014, when the Jury ruled that three police officers and two civilians should be charged with murder. The presiding Coroner, His Honour Mr. Patrick Murphy ordered that warrants be issued for the arrest of the five – all of whom were absent at the time of the verdict.
Robert Hill was killed at his home on December 9, 2009 by the police. The police claimed that Mr. Hill was killed in a shoot-out with them when they went in search of him at his home.
Before his death, Mr. Hill made several complaints to a number of bodies including the Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA) and Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) concerning incidents between himself and the police, expressing fear for his life and the safety of his family. In addition, Mr. Hill had released online a number of videos detailing his allegations of abuse at the hands of the police. He also posted a video showing police officers ill-treating him and his then pregnant wife at their Kingston home. In his videos, Mr. Hill pleaded for help stating that elements in the police force were conspiring to intimidate him in order to dissuade him from pursuing complaints against the police arising from a motor vehicle accident in SpanishTown, on July 11, 2009.
The Coroner’s Jury, having heard all the evidence, ruled that the three police officers involved, Special Corporal Uriel Anderson, Constable Gary Thomas and Special Constable Norval Warren be charged with murder. The Jury also ruled that two civilians, Marvia Morgan and Donovan Brown, also be charged.
JFJ represented the family of Robert Hill during the Coroner’s Inquest, as it has done for over 100 families of deceased persons in the past two years. The organization is heartened by INDECOM’s work in this matter.
JFJ notes that it took the state apparatus more than four years and 8 months to arrive at a decision to charge persons in relation to Mr. Hill’s death. This matter will now proceed to the Circuit Court for trial. JFJ calls for a thorough and expeditious prosecution of the matter. This would represent another step in the arduous quest for justice for the family of Mr. Hill. While this ruling is welcome news, we remind the state that justice delayed is justice denied.