Police investigators are at this hour interviewing prominent attorney Patrick Bailey in connection with the stabbing death of a man whose body was found inside his upper St Andrew home 20 months ago, law enforcement sources have revealed.
According to sources, Bailey turned in himself to the police this afternoon, accompanied by two top criminal defence attorneys, to give a second statement in relation to the September 30, 2016 death of Jermaine Junior, a 51-year-old construction worker.
Junior’s body was found with several stab wounds in Bailey’s living room.
Police investigators reported that a spent shell was found at the scene and that there was no sign of forced entry.
According to investigators, at the time, the well-known attorney indicated that he stumbled upon the body shortly after 4 a.m.
The police have faced public criticisms over their handling of the investigation.
Days after Junior’s death, police investigators collected a statement from Bailey and later ruled him out as a suspect.
Attorney -at-law Patrick Bailey has declined to respond to allegations being made against him by relatives of a man who was killed at his (Bailey’s) house in the upper St Andrew community of Barbican last year.
The body of 51-year-old Paul Jermaine Junior was found with multiple stab wounds and a single gunshot wound to the head on the morning of September 30 in the living room of Bailey’s house.
Police reported that Bailey stumbled upon the body about 4:30 am. A knife, believed to have been the one used to stab Junior, was reportedly found beside the body. The deceased was said to be the caretaker of the premises, something his family has been denying. The police said that there were no signs of forced entry and immediately ruled Bailey out as a suspect, saying that he was asleep when the killing occurred.
“Anything dem seh, mek dem seh it. I have no answer; just publish whatever they say. My back is broad. I have no comments, no comments, no comments! Just simply, you report whatever you want to,” Bailey told the Jamaica Observer when contacted on Thursday.
Relatives who visited the newspaper’s head office on Thursday, unhappy with media reports which constantly identified the deceased as Bailey’s “caretaker”, said they wanted to set the record straight.
“He was not a handyman; him just live there. Is two house in the yard. Him live at the back and Mr Bailey at the front, but him just helpful, so maybe that’s why dem call him that,” a spokesman for the relatives, who asked not to be named, told the Sunday Observer.
The relative said Bailey and Junior became close after the attorney represented Junior in a court matter more than 20 years ago.
The relative explained that Junior was shot multiple times by the police in Hope Pastures, St Andrew, after they received a report that a robbery had occurred in the area. The police believed he had matched the description given in the report. The relative said a lawsuit was filed, which Junior won.
The relative said that the two developed a friendship and noted that Junior, who had become a United States citizen through marriage some years later, would occasionally visit Jamaica then return to the US.
The relative said that since taking initial statements from the family in October, the police have made no contact with them. He also complained that nothing further has been said to the family about the case and that what is known to them is what is carried in the media.
“We don’t hear nothing. Last time was when it happen and we nuh go back to them (police) after,” the relative said.
Last week Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell told journalists at a Jamaica Constabulary Force press briefing that investigations into the murder are ongoing and insisted that the police would not cover up anything.
“We have not been speaking publicly about it like we haven’t been speaking publicly about many other murders. The fact is that we are quietly doing our work and we can assure Jamaica that nothing will be hidden in this case,” Powell said. “We have not hidden anything in any other case and we’re not going to be hiding anything in this case. We will stay above the fray. We’re going to do our job as best as we can and the chips will fall where they may.”
There has been public outcry over how the case was being handled and how very little information was available on it.
Bailey had reportedly exhibited signs of being unwell after the murder. His doctor and client Jephthah Ford instructed that he should be confined to bed and told the police that he was not fit to give a statement at the time. The statement came approximately two weeks later.
A little over eight months later, the police have declined to say whether or not there is a suspect in custody.
“I am not going into the matter of a suspect. All I will say is that we are investigating… But I can assure you that the investigation is going at a pace. I had a discussion on that matter just this morning (last Tuesday); we had a review last week. We’re following it up day by day because we know that Jamaica has an interest in the matter,” Powell said.
THE brother of the 51-year-old man murdered in prominent attorney-at-law Patrick Bailey’s Barbican home has made an about-turn on his decision to give up his fight for justice.
David Roberts, the closest family member of the deceased, Germaine Junior, told the Jamaica Observer that he felt that his brother would be disappointed if he were to give up.
“Mi get a dream and like him a ask me, ‘Weh yaa do? Don’t do that,’” Roberts shared with the Sunday Observer.
Roberts said that he felt that was a message to him to continue to seek justice.
“Mi nuh think mi fi give up; him wouldn’t want me to.”
A despondent Roberts told the Sunday Observer last month that it made no sense to seek justice because nothing will come of it.
“I call to say thanks for everything, but I don’t think I can continue with this. If the police dem did interested dem woulda arrest the killer, because dem know is who. Honestly, mi nuh think seh anything a go come of it,” he said at the time in a telephone interview.
Since the Observer reported the story, at least two lawyers and a politician have contacted the man in a bid to help him.
The case has attracted the attention of thousands of Jamaicans who are also demanding justice.
Observer Online reader Juniro Farqquharson said: “The silence of civil society, including the Jamaica [For] Justice, and of politicians of various stripes is rather deafening. Only in Jamaica! Yet, we wonder why there are over 1,300 murders.”
Another reader commented that “the country is going downhill fast”.
Equally, one said: “The police wouldn’t know real evidence if it came notarised on their forehead. How can you ‘immediately’ rule out anyone before carrying out the proper investigation? Do you expect the murderer to just show up with bloody hands, or to report to the station as you usually demand?”
The Sunday Observer questioned the police high command last month about the status of the investigation at a press briefing called by Commissioner of Police George Quallo at his St Andrew office.
Deputy commissioner of police in charge of the crime portfolio, Selvin Haye, said that contrary to media reports that nothing is being done to solve the case, the police are carrying out investigations.
“What we can say on that is that the investigation is still open and it’s continuing. And contrary to what we have seen in the media, no one has been exempted and no one has been eliminated so the investigation is in full force,” Haye said.
He added that the police are “following some leads” and will give an update soon. They did not answer whether or not a motive has been established for the killing.
Junior was found with more than a dozen stab wounds and a gunshot to the head in Bailey’s living room on the morning of September 30, 2016. Police report that Bailey stumbled upon Junior’s body about 4:30 am. The knife used was reportedly found beside the body. The police said that there were no signs of forced entry. Bailey was immediately ruled out as a suspect and placed on bed rest by his doctor and client Jephthah Ford.
Ford was later found guilty of corruption after he tried to bribe a police officer to release two Surinamese men who were caught in 2014 with nearly $60 million.
He was last month sentenced to six months in prison, but has appealed the decision of the judge and is on bail