(Jamaica Observer) Businessman Patrick Powell was yesterday charged with murder resulting from the shooting death of 17-year-old student Khajeel Mais and will face the court this morning.
The controversial killing in the St Andrew community of Havendale on July 1 has infuriated Jamaicans, who made repeated calls for the police to name the suspect, who fled the island briefly after the incident.
Powell, a 50-year-old resident of the posh St Andrew community of Belgrade Loop, Kingston 19, has also been charged with shooting with intent, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and failure to produce firearm for inspection.
When Powell is called upon to answer the charges against him this morning, he will do so out of the public’s glare and media spotlight, as he will appear before the Gun Court Division of the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court. Gun court proceedings are closed to the public.
The charges against Powell followed a ruling by Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn on Tuesday and came days after the late Kingston College student’s funeral on Saturday. But yesterday, Queen’s Counsel Patrick Atkinson was caught off guard by news that charges had been laid against his client.
“I’m surprised because I was led to believe that there would have been an identification parade,” Atkinson told the Observer. “I wasn’t even told that he would have been charged.”
The Mais family was not available for comment yesterday.
The killing of Mais, who was on his way to a fete at the Meadowbrook High School, sparked national outrage. The public had been clamouring for Powell to be charged ever since his apprehension at the Norman Manley International Airport following his return to the island last week Monday.
Mais was shot and killed by a BMW X6 driver after the taxi in which he was travelling ran into the back of the luxury vehicle. Powell’s Belgrade Loop home was subsequently raided by the police and two BMW X6 vehicles were confiscated.