Police are investigating the possibility that the hit on 36-year-old Candy-Ann Mc Intyre was ordered from a prisoner at the Maximum Security Prison.
Police sources said that homicide detectives began investigating the possibility, hours after Mc Intyre, a mother of four from Quarry Road in San Juan, was shot dead after attending her 12-year-old son’s graduation ceremony at Green Meadows, Santa Barbara Boulevard in Santa Cruz, on Tuesday afternoon.
Guardian Media understands that Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and officers from the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) visited the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca where they searched a cell of a prisoner, who is suspected of calling the hit on Mc Intyre and seized a mobile phone.
Police have not arrested any of the suspects who carried out the hit up to late yesterday. Investigators were reportedly reviewing CCTV footage from nearby residences and business places in a bid to identify Mc Intyre’s attackers.
Mc Intyre was one of two State witnesses against three men who were charged with murdering her relative on May 2005.
Two of the three men were convicted in October 2012, while the third was ordered to be retried as the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict for him. The two convicted men challenged their convictions with one being successful and receiving a retrial from the Court of Appeal in 2016.
Guardian Media has withheld the identity of the accused men in an effort not to prejudice their eventual retrials, which are expected to come up for hearing soon.
According to the summary of evidence from the appeal over the first trial, Mc Intyre, a female relative and an in-law were at the family’s home at San Juan, when three gunmen ambushed another relative.
The male relative fled the scene, while Mc Intyre reportedly ran inside, hid and monitored what was transpiring. Her female relative opposed one of the gunmen and was shot. She survived by pretending to be dead.
“On the night in question Candy–Ann was able to see the whole bodies of the men including their faces and observed them for about five seconds during which time she focused on their faces,” according to a summary of the prosecution’s case.
During the first trial of the case, State prosecutors had to apply to the judge to declare the male relative, who witnessed the crime, dead as he disappeared after he gave evidence in the preliminary inquiry of the case. He has never been found.
In the attempt to have his testimony from the inquiry used in the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that he had not used his passport to leave the country and that the woman he was last seen alive with was murdered two weeks after he disappeared.
A similar but less complicated process is expected to be used to tender Mc Intyre’s deposition into evidence at the two men’s retrial.
A post mortem is expected to be performed on Mc Intyre’s body at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, on Friday.
Mc Intyre’s killing raised the murder toll for the year to 243.
Contacted on Wednesday, National Security Minister Stuart Young sent condolences to her family and described her death as a tragedy.
Young confirmed that Mc Intyre was not a part of his ministry’s witness protection programme and stated that her death could not be attributed to it.
“We at National Security must and will continue the fight against criminality,” Young said.
Reporter: Derek Achong