-AsCourt Grants Gov’t’s Request InEPS Murder Case
By: R. Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA-A government team of lawyers is requesting Criminal Court “A” to Subpoena Dr. Joseph N. Siaway, a Medical Doctor at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center who is said to have pronounced Valentine Johnson dead after being shot by Patrick Kollie, an officer of the Executive Protection Service.
This comes barely hours after the court denied a family member’s request to turn over the deceased remains for burial.
Months ago, Agent Patrick Kollie was indicted by the grand jury of Montserrado County but has since pleaded not guilty to the indictment of murder based on his statement that the arm was discharged mistakenly during a tussle with criminals at the Police Academy Community Junction.
The incident follows a preliminary investigation at the Monrovia City Court in the proceedings consistent with Chapter 12.2 of the criminal procedure law of Liberia.
The latest request brings to five the total number of witnesses produced by the state’s lawyers in the ongoing juror trials.
As per the request, Dr. Siaway will testify before the court and the five men jurors Wednesday, against the EPS officer on his certain knowledge about the cause of death.
However, on Monday, December 5, the State Prosecutors’ fourth witness, Mr. Jerry K.M. Wamah who is the commander of the homicide division of the Liberia National Police and the Chief investigator in the July 4, 2022 shooting incident that led to the death of Valentine Johnson in the Police Academy Community, Paynesville City took the witness stand to testify in the ongoing trial.
Kollie who is being tried for murder at Criminal Court ‘A’ based on investigative findings by the crime services department and Homicide Division of the Liberia National Police.
According to officer Wamah, he was not on the scene of the murder, but investigative findings showed that Defendant Kollie purposely, knowingly, intentionally, and wrongfully shot behind some men believed to be criminals, but the shot did not hit those targeted, rather the victim Valentine Johnson in violation of Rule Four of the Basic Fire-Arm rules.
Representing the state as the fourth witness in the trial, Wamah said that based upon police investigation, defendant Kollie was charged with murder, but admitted that the defendant told investigators that he was in a tussle with criminals when his arm was mistakenly discharged.
“It was established that Defendant Kollie, who was not on duty, not even at assignment area, was on his way home at the Police Academy Community when he came across an alleged criminal that tried to molest him to impede his movement,” Wamah explained.
He added: “In the process, the defendant went into his white vehicle, picked up his assigned weapon Noreagao pistol, and as soon the alleged criminals spotted him picking his arm from his vehicle, they started to escape during which time Defendant Patrick Kollie fired behind the alleged suspects while the victim was on an approaching motorbike and got hit by the bullet.”
It was requested by the defendant and was granted, and during that time Prosecution’s first witness Paul Leayen took the witness stand to explain the ordeal of that fateful day of the incident.