By B. Lu Joycln Wea
KAKATA-The 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Margibi County on Thursday set Oliver Dillon, younger brother of Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon free of the crime of murder.
In a unanimous verdict on January 14, 2021, all 12 jurors brought down a non-guilty verdict
“After returning from our room of deliberations and considering the facts, we have resolved and agreed that Oliver Dillon is not guilty of the crime of murder he was accused of, Judge Joe Barcon said.
Judge Barcon declared Dillon was a free man predicated on the jurors verdict.
Similarly, the Judge dismissed the jurors facto and lauded them for their hard work, patience, and intelligence.
“Chapter 20, Section 20.8 of the criminal procedural law preform their constitutional duty and haven’t performed their duties for the past 60 days jury sitting, they are now discharged from the juror penal,” Judge Barcon told the Jurors.
Oliver Dillon was on trial for allegedly murdering one Emmanuel Kofi believed to be a Zogo (disadvantaged youth) in the Barnesville Community in early April 2019. He was investigated, charged and forwarded to court for onward prosecution; and was subsequently indicted in November 2019 by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County for the crime of murder.
The matter should have been heard in Montserrado as per the law of territorial jurisdiction since that was where the incident occurred. However, this the venue was changed to Margibi County predicated upon a motion for a change of venue filed by Government lawyers on grounds that the deceased could not have had fair justice if the case was to be held in Monrovia.
Trial in the case officially commenced November 16, 2020 with the selection of a-fifteen-man juror panel to preside and make determination into the matter.
During the trial, prosecution produced three witnesses to include: Alvin Page and George Quaye to testify to their setting knowledge of the crime commissioned by Dillon as well as produce the weapon used during the incident.
County Attorney Edwin Kla Martin in his final presentation noted that the defense argument of self-defense violated the theory of self-defense on grounds that under the law, one should be in an eminent danger or provoked; which was never the case in this matter.
Martin maintained that Dillon was never provoked or in any eminent danger as the law provides and that the action by Dillon was not equal to that of the deceased saying:
“He just saw group of people coming to him and concluded they were criminals and stabbed Emmanuel Kofi,” Kla Martin said.
Atty. Martin pleaded with the jurors and the honorable court to hold Dillon liable for taking the life of a harmless man as any verdict on the contrary could affect the deceased in his grave.
The County Attorney added that Dillon was never under attack as claimed in his testimony.
Police investigative report which led to the indictment against Dillon acknowledged that the area where the incident occurred is heavily infested with criminals and known to be a crime bleeding community where gang go after peaceful citizens and take away their belongings.
Accordingly, one of the defense counsels Wilfred Sillah pointed out several contradictions in government witnesses testimonies.
He noted that there was no autopsy conducted to establish the part of the deceased that was pierced to have resulted to his Kofi’s death. Another doubt uncovered by Cllr. Sillah was the fact that the police charge sheet was prepared April 12, 2019 at 23:00 hours, day after the crime was committed (April 13, 2019 1:30Am) could imply that government might had anticipated the incident.
Cllr. Sillah further argued that Alvin Page, a police examiner who conducted the test on the deceased is not a medical practitioner and should not have been the one to establish the cause of death. Rather, it should have been a licensed and professional medical doctor who should have performed such act. That was not done, instead he contacted a nurse aid to test the deceased.
Defense counsel noted that the conduct of the examiner showed that the examination was done on the crime scene and not at Abraham Robert’s Funeral home as mentioned by Alvin Page during his testimony in court. That was one of the reasons a non-guilty verdict was given.
Sillah noted that if Dillon was never attacked as claimed by the County Attorney, than his client (Dillon) should be set free because there was nothing for him to be held liable for.