Home Court News Wrongly convicted man freed on appeal

Wrongly convicted man freed on appeal

Nassau, Bahamas-A man convicted on wrongly admitted evidence had his conviction quashed on appeal Friday.

Dmetri Rolle, 33, spent six years in custody after prosecutors accused him of the 2014 murder of Dwayne Finnekan in Exuma.

Prosecutors alleged that Rolle and Giordano Rolle Jr., robbed Dwayne Finnekan of money and jewellery when they broke into his home in Roker’s Point on February 18, 2014.

However, a jury convicted Rolle of the lesser charge of manslaughter in 2017.

On November 23, 2018, Justice Carolita Bethell sentenced him to concurrent terms of 20 years and 15 years for manslaughter and armed robbery. He received credit for the three years spent on remand.

At the appeal, public defenders Marianne Cadet and Brendalee Rae argued that errors by the judge made the conviction unsafe.

During his trial, Rolle challenged the admissibility of his police interview and confession statement—the only evidence against him.

His trial lawyer asserted that the confessions were obtained illegally.

However, without providing reasons the judge allowed the statement into evidence.

At yesterday’s appeal, prosecutors Stephanie Pintard and Kristan Stubbs conceded that the judge shouldn’t have admitted the confession.

The prosecution accepted that without the confession, there was no evidence to warrant a retrial.

As a result, the appellate court ordered Rolle’s release from custody.

Meanwhile, Giordano Rolle remains in prison awaiting the outcome of his appeal.

Prosecutors alleged that he fired the fatal shots and jurors convicted him of Finnekan’s murder and armed robbery.

He received sentences of 30 years and 20 years in prison, with time off for three years spent in custody.

Appeals go online

Justices of Appeal Stella Crane Scott, Roy Jones and Milton Evans heard the appeal via the Zoon video-conferencing software.

The Court of Appeal shutdown on March 23 in a move to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The appellate court started virtual hearings on May 4.

Rolle watched the proceedings by video from the remand centre at the prison.



You cannot copy content of this page

Verified by MonsterInsights