Escapee was shot dead in home

A man, charged with harbouring a fugitive a year ago, in August 2017, will know his fate when he appears in the St Ann Parish Court, next month.

Omar Brown, from Thompson Pen in St Catherine, was charged with harbouring a fugitive after police shot and killed escapee Nicholas Massop at his apartment in Ocho Rios, on August 28, 2017.  Massop was one of five persons who escaped from the Ocho Rios lock-up on August 11, 2017. He was facing charges of murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm when he escaped custody.

During an early morning operation by the Ocho Rios Police on August 28, 2017, in Pineapple, Ocho Rios, Massop was shot and killed. Brown, who had only a month earlier rented the apartment, where Massop was killed, was charged with harbouring a fugitive.

The matter was tried in the St Ann Parish Court on Thursday, September 20. Parish Judge Vaughn Facey is expected to hand down a verdict within days. 

The investigating officer (I/O) who was the main witness in the case told the court that a team of police officers, acting on information, had gone to a yard in Main Street, Pineapple in search of Massop.

Upon arriving at the premises, they knocked on a closed door and identified themselves as the police. He said movements were heard inside. He said the officers rushed inside and immediately after that gunshots and shouting was heard.

 Massop was found on the floor with a gunshot wound. Another man, who was identified as Brown, was reportedly shouting that he didn’t know anything.

Brown reportedly told the police that he did not know Massop was a fugitive. According to the I/O he later told the police that he knew that Massop was wanted but was afraid. However under cross examination from Walter Melbourne, attorney representing Brown, the I/O admitted that he did not write that in his statement.

On Thursday, Brown denied telling police he knew Massop was wanted but was afraid. When he took the stand, Brown said he had gone to sleep with his door half open after dropping off his girlfriend at a hotel in Runaway Bay, following a party the night before. He said he was later awoken, in the dark house, by someone. The person, who turned out to be Massop, told him that the police were coming.
He said he was surprised to see Massop in his apartment.

“I was wondering how he got there,” Brown told the court.

Brown, in his testimony, claimed that he knew Massop because they grew up in the same community. However, he said they were not friends.

Brown’s former landlord was also called to give evidence in court. She said she did not know the accused before renting him the apartment, but that background checks were done on Brown and that he was recommended by a close family friend, who said he was of good character. She also told the court she had no trouble with the accused while he was living at the apartment.

The short life of Nicholas Massop

Twenty-one year old Nicholas Massop, a fisherman was shot dead by police after escaping custody on Friday August 11, 2017.

Police had arrested him for the murder of 44 year old Leslie Burgher, a taxi operator and handy man. Burgher was shot and killed while he slept in his car at a yard in Pineapple, Ocho Rios, in February 2017.

Massop was said to be one of five men who escaped from the Ocho Rios lock up. Three had been captured and convicted of jail break among other crimes.

Police had intelligence that Massop was in the Pineapple area. It was said that in a day-light operation involving several police they went to Pineapple and Massop shot at them. The fire was returned and he was killed. No police officer was hurt. Police said they took from Massop’s body one nine mm pistol and six live rounds of ammunition. They arrested Omar Brown for harbouring a fugitive.

Brown is now waiting to hear the verdict of the courts.

Nicholas Massop