Manderson discharged on murder charge

Justin Devon Manderson, who was scheduled to go on trial for the Jan. 3 murder of Victor Oliver Yates Jr., was discharged on Tuesday afternoon after witnesses backed out of testifying in the case.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran entered a formal notice that the Crown was not proceeding.

He told Justice Malcolm Swift that there had been a number of developments since charges of murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm were brought against Manderson. These developments related to Crown witnesses in the case.

Mr. Moran said civilian witnesses, “who provided witness statements upon which this case rests in its entirety, have now individually indicated their unwillingness to substantiate the allegations, each for their own separate reasons.”

He said police and the office of the DPP made repeated efforts to seek to address their withdrawals of cooperation. “Those efforts have not met with success,” he advised the court. “We cannot proceed without witnesses,” he said.

Entering the formal notice of not proceeding does not act as a bar to subsequent proceedings being brought against a defendant, Mr. Moran pointed out, and this possibility had been brought to Manderson’s attention.

Justice Swift told Manderson, “You are discharged.”

Manderson was represented by lead counsel Michael Duck, instructed by attorney Clyde Allen.