Paul Jex not Guilty - Main witness refuses to testify Print E-mail
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Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:00

25-year-old Paul Jex, who has been on remand for the murder of well-known basketball star and educator, Aubrey Lopez, walked out of court a free man at 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 12, after almost 4 years on remand. A jury of 12 acquitted him of the charge after just over 4 hours of deliberation.

Since January 28, Jex had been standing trial before Justice Adolph Lucas in which Crown Counsel Kayshia Grant called 14 witnesses to testify against him.

Her main witness, who was supposed to have seen the entire crime unfold, took the stand and refused to testify telling the court, while in tears, that he feared for his life. He told the court that his life was threatened. His exact words were “They said that they would kill me”. During a trial within this trial, which the jury did not witness, evidence came out that in 2011, 2 men wearing masks shot at him while he was at his house. The bullets missed him but struck his friend who was with him that time. He said that in 2013, a man rode up on a bike and told him that if he testified, he would be killed.

In the end, the court had to test his written statement which he gave to police in 2012, and it was admitted as evidence that the jury could consider. In that written statement, Jex was fingered as the shooter who took 30 year-old basket baller and E. P. Yorke teacher, Aubrey Lopez’s life. The victim was socializing at one of the school’s functions on the night of May 12, 2010. Jex and a group of men managed to get control of Lopez and his vehicle. They shot him in the back of the head, threw him out of the vehicle, and left him to die on Prince Street.

In his defence, Jex, who was represented by attorneys Tricia Pitts-Anderson, and her father, Bernard Q. Pitts Sr., gave a dock statement in which he categorically denied that he committed any murder. He said that on that night, he was standing on the corner of Neal’s Penn Road, when a car drove past. He said that he got a ride in that vehicle. Jex was giving evidence to explain why police claimed that they spotted the vehicle on Raccoon Street, and a high speed chase followed. It ended in the vicinity of West Collet Canal where Jex was found in the vehicle, Lopez’s blue Nissan Altima, with a .357 magnum revolver which was tendered as evidence against him.

After their extensive deliberations, the jury found him not guilty of the charge, and he happily greeted his family before running off into the night. Mayor Simeon Lopez and his family, who have been “religiously” attending Jex’s trial, waved off the media saying that they couldn’t make a comment at the time of the verdict.