Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2019. 9:09 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: A trio of brothers accused of the May 2011 murder of taxi driver Errol “Lighter” Ferguson outside the Charles Bartlett Hyde Administration Building off Mahogany Street Extension are free after the Supreme Court ruled they cannot be indicted again, after their original trial ended without a verdict.
The 2015 trial of 25 year old Adrian Pook; thirty year old Ryan Pook and 31 year old Michael Pook was held before then-Supreme Court Justice Troadio John Gonzalez; however, Justice Gonzalez retired upon reaching the mandatory retirement age without handing down a ruling in the matter.
The Pooks had been on remand for nearly eight years. They were granted bail in February for 25 thousand dollars each but were unable to meet it.
The prosecution led by Sheneiza Smith of the D.P.P.’s office relied heavily on a statement given to police by her main witness, Altreed Williams, who was a friend of Ferguson.
But reports at the time said he later turned a hostile witness and denied telling police he saw Michael chop Ferguson twice on the head while Ryan and Adrian stabbed him in the chest. Another witness placed one of the brothers at a house near the crime scene, and an officer recorded a caution statement given by Michael Pook. The prosecution charged that the brothers acted together in a joint enterprise when they chopped and stabbed Ferguson. The brothers were then represented by Leeroy Banner, Oscar Selgado and Kathleen Lewis.
Appearing yesterday before Supreme Court Justice Collin Williams with attorneys Banner and Leslie Mendez, the brothers heard the judge say that after a three year wait, it is clear to him that the ruling will not materialize due to the circumstances of the original trial and the fact that brother Judge Gonzalez is no longer with the Judiciary. This he deemed a denial of their fundamental right to a fair trial.
Ferguson was chopped to death early in the morning of May fifth, 2011 and police quickly apprehended the brothers. Michael was additionally charged with damage to property for breaking the rear windshield of a 1992 Geo Prism vehicle which was driven by Ferguson but belonged to Williams. Adrian was a minor at the time and held at the Wagner’s Youth Facility on the compound of the Central Prison, while his brothers joined the prison’s general population.///
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