“One of the time he (Tommy Lee Sparta) was testifying, he burst out into tears saying: ‘What have I done? Why am I being used as a scapegoat?” Smith recalled.
He spent over a month in Police custody but ace deejay, Tommy Lee Sparta, was finally allowed to walk free from the Freeport police station in Montego Bay, yesterday.
Now that the Spartan Angel singer is free, his attorney Ernest “Ernie” Smith is determined to get justice for the entertainer who he believes was falsely imprisoned.
“He’s been the victim of unlawful restraint of trade. That is the category under which the action will arise. In other words, he was not allowed to ply his trade without justification,” Smith told 18 Karat Reggae.
“I’m going to bring action against the State for his loss of income for the period of false imprisonment, and we’re also looking at a calculation for the number of times that he was prevented from performing in Montego Bay and other areas in the west, and that calculation looks like it’s running into about a hundred million dollars,” he continued.
Tommy Lee Sparta, given name Leroy Russell, was detained under the state of public emergency (SOE) in St James since July 7. He was never charged.
Smith said he was advised yesterday by e-mail that the tribunal ruled that his client’s detention “should be revoked” and he be immediately released.
“The e-mail was received at 11:59 am, and he was released shortly after. When I called to speak with him sometime after one o’clock, he was already on his way to Kingston… He has ‘thrown stones’ behind him, because he doesn’t want to see Montego Bay again,” said Smith.
According to the attorney-at-law, the entertainer gave a sworn testimony to the tribunal last Thursday.
“One of the time he was testifying, he burst out into tears saying: ‘What have I done? Why am I being used as a scapegoat?” Smith recalled.
Early July, Tommy Lee Sparta was asked to report to Freeport Police Station in relation to an upsurge in violence in the Flanker community of St James and was detained under the SOE in the parish.
Under the SOE, a person can be detained for up to 90 days without being charged.
Tommy Lee Sparta has had several brushes with the law.
He was listed as a person of interest by police in 2014 and 2017 for shooting incidents. He was, however, questioned and released.