Jury hung in death by dangerous driving case

A Grand Court jury was unable to decide Thursday whether the driving of Alex Diaz, 22, had caused the death of Jonathon Michael Jones, 18, in a crash on the Linford Pearson Highway in the early hours of 13 August, 2006.

The jury retired to consider their verdict at 12.15pm, but at 2.55pm told the court they were deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous verdict.

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie then instructed the jury that, as two-and-a-half hours had passed, it was open to them to return a majority verdict with at least five members in agreement.

But after a further hour of deliberation, the jury sent a note to Mr. Smellie informing him they were still at a four-to-three deadlock. Mr. Smellie asked the jury whether they would be able to come to a verdict if they were given more time, but the foreman said they were at a firm deadlock.

Mr. Smellie then discharged the jury, before setting the case down for mention again on 23 November.

He explained to Mr. Diaz that the result did not amount to an acquittal, and that the Crown will have to decide whether to retry the case. Crown Counsel Tricia Hutchinson said there was a strong chance the Crown will retry the matter.

Mr. Diaz’s bail was extended until the 23 November mention date.

Jonathon Jones died around 12.30am, Sunday 13 August after the White Honda Integra he was a passenger in collided with a parked truck on the Linford Pearson Highway.

Mr. Diaz, who was driving the vehicle, was represented during the seven-day trial by Defence Attorney Scott Wilson of Diamond Law Associates.

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