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Police Officer gets 35 years in prison for killing Clarendon vendor
A police constable implicated in the murder of a Clarendon vendor over three years ago was on Friday morning sentenced to life imprisonment in the Home Circuit Court.
The cop, Constable Ricketto Graham of Gayle, St Mary, was found guilty by a seven-member jury in the St Ann Circuit Court on Wednesday, June 7.
Graham was sentenced by Justice Glen Brown, who ordered he serve 35 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Constable Ricketto was charged following investigations into the controversial shooting, which resulted in the death of 21-year-old Christopher Hill of Treadlight District in Clarendon.
It was initially reported that Hill was shot during a confrontation with the police at about 4:30 am on Friday, July 12 on Wesley Crescent in Brown’s Town in St Ann.
He succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Sunday, July 14, but not before telling of how he had been shot by the cop.
Graham’s defense was that Hill was armed with a knife and attempted to slash his throat.
The prosecution relied on evidence from another police officer, who was at the time on training, when Hill was shot.
The cop, Constable Pearson testified that he saw Hill with no knife on the morning in question and that it was while he held Hill that he heard a loud explosion.
Constable Pearson testified that he later let Hill out of his grasp and he fell. He said that Graham told him to also shoot Hill, but he (Pearson) said he was afraid.
It was also heard at the trial that it was when Hill was transported by officers and arrived at the hospital, he reportedly told a doctor that he was not dead.
Hill later told the doctor he pretended to be dead and gave his account of the incident.
The doctor’s account was that Hill told him, he had been shot by officers after being questioned for “some crime.”
The doctor said Hill told him that the police had taken his phone and cash and called his mother to inform her that he was dead.
One officer told him to lie down, but Hill said he refused and was then shot twice.
Hill told the doctor he held his breath and pretended to be dead, while the officers left him and came back and placed him in a van.
However the doctor said Hill did not remember what transpired later as he only remembered waking up in the hospital.
Hill later died two days later from his gunshot wounds.