By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Hubert Elrington, the attorney for Edison Johnson, the farmer who has since been remanded to prison for having shot and killed two alleged trespassers on his farm, said he’s written to the Direct or of Public Prosecutions to get his client out of jail on one of two options.
Elrington, speaking to The Reporter on Tuesday, said he has asked the DPP to consider any one of two possibilities: either for the charges to be reduced to manslaughter so he can seek bail for his client, or for the charges to be dismissed based on legal precedent.
He said that in a clear case such as this the DPP could declare it to be a justifiable homicide if she feels that the circumstances are reasonable.
Elrington said in a matter such as this legal precedent holds more weight on decisions made relating to such cases than the provisions in the Constitution.
He explained that the way the law is written often differs from how it is practised and added that when police investigate a killing, the constitution allows them 24-hours to levy a charge. And many times police file charges before the facts have all come to light.
He added that many times cases like these end up going to a jury and can take up to five years for trial to start before the accused is found innocent and acquitted.
Elrington shared that he was aware of instances in which, accused persons waited up to 11 years for their trial to begin.
He went on to say that his client, who was with his son, discovered the extensive damage that the men had done to his property and made several calls to police.
While he waited, according to Elrington, the men returned in the red truck and were armed with machetes. Johnson ordered them to stop but they didn’t listen.
According to Elrington this is when Johnson was faced with the decision to protect his life, his son’s life and the integrity of his property.
On Sunday police arrested and charged Johnson with the murder of the two intruders.
Johnson, told police that around 5:45 p.m. on Friday he encountered two men burglarizing his property. He fired a shot from his 12-gauge shotgun in the direction of the two men.
Johnson recalled seeing one of the men falling to the ground after he fired the shot.
When police arrived they found the body of 23-year-old Luke Cox of Carmelita Village.
Police also recovered one 12-guage expended cartridge. Cox was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:23 p.m.
The following morning police visited Johnson’s farm again and found the body of 24-year-old Saul Garcia from Rhaburn Ridge Village, approximately 300 yards from where Cox was found.
The body was also transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Johnson handed over his shotgun and gun license to police when they arrived.