By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SUPREME Court jury has acquitted two cousins of the role they were alleged to have played in the slaying of businessman Leo Rahming at the car rental company and carwash he owned in the Marathon area last year.
The jury, at the directions of Justice Bernard Turner on Friday, acquitted Renaldo Georges of Rahming’s murder on May 4, 2017, at EZ Kicks and Car Rental, and Terrance Meuze of being an accessory after the fact.
Meanwhile, the actual gunman, who is purportedly of Jamaican descent, is still at large, based on the evidence.
Rahming, who was shot in the head and died in hospital a short time later, was the cousin of Latrae Rahming, former press aide to former Prime Minister Perry Christie.
According to the evidence of Everette Strachan, sometime in the morning of May 4, 2017, he received a phone call from Rahming, whom he knew all of his life. Rahming told him to bring some car parts for a Nissan March vehicle. Mr Strachan told Rahming he would deliver the items to him sometime later that day.
Shortly after 6pm, Strachan arrived at EZ Kicks and Car Rental and approached Rahming, who was in the yard along with a few other persons, with the car parts. Mr Strachan said he and Rahming were conversing in the area of a shed on the property, when he said Rahming’s attention was drawn to a male standing on the property.
Mr Strachan said when Rahming asked the male if he needed any assistance, the male replied with a Jamaican accent: “I am waiting on someone to bring me some money to buy something.”
The witness said two minutes later he heard a single gunshot, and when he looked around, saw the same male Rahming had spoken with moments prior pointing a black firearm at Rahming. The gunman fired a few more times before Rahming fell to the ground.
Mr Strachan said after the gunman shot Rahming, he briskly made his way to the back eastern gate of the property. The witness said he quickly searched Rahming because he knew him to have a firearm on him, but he didn’t have it on him at that time. He said he then shouted out to persons who worked at the establishment and asked where Rahming’s shotgun was, and was told by someone it was in his truck.
Mr Strachan said when he went to Rahming’s truck it wasn’t there, but when he went to Rahming’s mother’s Nissan Note he found the firearm. At that time, Mr Strachan said he could see the man who shot Rahming going through the yard towards a shortcut, so he fired off a single shot that missed him.
The witness said he gave chase to the gunman, who hopped onto a small, black scooter with a male driver, both of whom subsequently escaped by heading north on Isabella Boulevard, which runs parallel to Marathon Road to the east.
Mr Strachan said he ran back to the scene of the shooting and met the police, who ordered him to drop the gun. Persons in the yard told the police he wasn’t the shooter, and so he wasn’t arrested. Mr Strachan said by this time, Rahming was bleeding heavily and appeared lifeless, however, someone said he still had a pulse.
Thus, he and others put Rahming in the Nissan Note and they drove him to the hospital while he followed them. He later found out that his former high schoolmate had died.
Mr Strachan said he would be able to identify the gunman, as he got a good look at him for about two to three minutes. However, he said he would not be able to identify the driver of the scooter.
Meanwhile, Police Corporal 3752 Greenslade said that around 6.20pm on the date in question, and while on duty, he heard what appeared to be gunshots in the area of EZ Kicks and Car Rentals. As a result, he and his partner Corporal 2276 Cyr ran across the street where they observed a male in a red shirt brandishing a black firearm that appeared to be a pistol.
Cpl Greenslade said he ordered the male to drop the weapon, however, the gunman turned in his direction and pointed the weapon at him instead. In fear for his and his partner’s life, Cpl Greenslade said he fired five shots with his service pistol.
The gunman fired two shots at at the officer before escaping through a short cut to the rear of the establishment. Cpl Greenslade said a male who identified himself as a worker was also on the scene with a shotgun and fired a shot at the gunman, however, the worker was made to drop the weapon, which was collected.
The gunman, meanwhile, was able to jump on a motorcycle that was parked through Isabella Street and make his escape.
Cpl Greenslade said when he returned to the scene of the shooting, he saw a male lying on the ground in a pool of blood, suffering from a gunshot wound and appearing to be lifeless. Cpl Greenslade said he received further information that the victim, Rahming, was the proprietor of the business establishment.
When interviewed at the Central Detective Unit (CDU) two weeks later, Georges said on the date in question, both he and Meuze went in the area of Lil General’s Food Store on East Street south to meet up with a male, who speaks with a Jamaican accent. However, he said the purpose of that meeting was to make a “drug run” for his cousin.
Georges further stated that he and the would-be gunman left Lil General’s en route to EZ Kicks and Car Rentals on his black and yellow Suzuki DR-Z400 dual-sport motorbike, where he dropped the male off, but insisted that he was always of the impression that it was a drug run for Meuze.
Georges said when he dropped the male off, he then started doing wheelies on his motorbike to pass the time.
However, he said after the shooting happened, the male with the Jamaican accent came running out of the bush with an “angry face” with a gun in his hand, put the gun to his back and ordered him to ride off, and told him that if he made the “wrong move” he would kill him.
Georges said he never contacted Meuze about the incident, but told his girlfriend what had happened.
Meuze, when interviewed by police two days after Georges, admitted that two days after the shooting, he sent a text message to his cousin from a number he admitted was his, telling his cousin to “toast that wybe,” meaning to burn and destroy his motorcycle.
However, Meuze said he only told Georges to do that because he was “looking out for him” after hearing about the incident on the news. Meuze said Georges ultimately burned down the motorcycle in the back of his neighbour’s yard.
Christina Galanos represented Georges, while Damien White represented Meuze.