Oneil Buckle, a detective corporal attached from the St Catherine South Division, was freed of murder charges when he appeared before the St Catherine Circuit Court on Monday, May 14.
The charges were dismissed after witnesses in the murder case of Ricardo Wood failed to appear in court.
Buckle, along with another policeman, Constable Kevin Thompson, had been charged with the 2009 fatal shooting of Wood in Waterford, St Catherine during an alleged shoot-out with gunmen.
However, Constable Thompson’s decomposing body was found at his home in Greater Portmore, St. Catherine on July 4, 2017. At the time, investigators said the lawman’s body had no visible marks of violence.
When the matter appeared before the court on Monday, Buckle’s attorney argued that the murder case should be dismissed against him as the witnesses in the case had failed to appear. In addition, investigators had revealed that the main witness in the matter had migrated.
As a result, Justice Brown dismissed the case and ordered that the detective corporal be freed of the charge.
Allegations were that on August 26, 2009, a police team which included Buckle and Thompson went on an operation in Waterford. The lawmen then encountered gunmen, who engaged them in a shoot-out.
Wood was hit during the confrontation and a gun reportedly seized from his person. He was pronounced dead at hospital.
An investigation was launched by the Bureau of Special Investigations and witnesses later gave statements suggesting that Wood was shot dead in cold blood.
A file was then sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), which ruled seven years later that the policemen be charged with murder.