(JAMAICA GLEANER) — Tesha Miller was yesterday named by the star witness as the don of the Clansman Gang that unleashed murder and extortion in Spanish Town, creating an empire built on fear and force.
The witness, a self-confessed ex-gangster who is blindfolded and heavily guarded before being brought into court daily, yesterday testified to Clansman’s architecture, which was manned by an array of “area leaders”, “ground commanders” and lower-level henchmen called “ground soldiers”.
He made this revelation in answer to questions by a senior deputy director of public prosecutions.
The witness told the court that he was an area leader in the four-tier organisation, which he said he joined when he was 13 years old. The witness is now 29 years old.
The former area leader, who cannot be named because of a court order, said that he carried out orders given by Miller, which included murder, shooting, robbery and extortion.
But defence attorney Bert Samuels, who is representing Miller, objected to the evidence being elicited.
“Mr Miller is not before the court for killing people or robbing people,” he asserted.
Trial judge Justice Georgiana Fraser, however, overruled his objection, allowing the prosecution to continue its line of testimony.
The prosecutor later asked the witness if he had ever disobeyed an order.
“No, Ma’am,” he replied.
Pressed on why he had remained loyal to the gang, the witness told the court that he would have been killed, as disobedience was viewed as a cardinal challenge to the supremacy of the don.
In respect of the other roles, the witness told the court that the “ground soldiers” were the scouts who kept watch in the community, taking note of the movement of police and other individuals, while the ground commanders took care of the men who were in custody by providing them with money.
The witness, who has been incarcerated at a maximum-security prison for the last two years after pleading guilty to murder, also explained his motive for testifying against Miller.
He told the court that 13 of his family members were killed between 2013 and 2015 and so he decided to call time on a culture of violence.
“Sometimes you have to take a stand in the circumstances … to end it all. Time to put a stop to everything,” the witness said.
Miller is on trial at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston for accessory before and after the fact to the 2008 murder of then chairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company, Douglas Chambers.
The trial continues on Monday.