Businessman Patrick Powell has been freed of the murder of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais.

The driver of the taxi in which Khajeel Mais was shot in July 2011 yesterday testified that “within a minute” of his car hitting the rear of a “big back vehicle” the taxi was fired upon.

Wayne Wright, the main witness who brought much drama to yesterday’s proceedings and directed hostility at lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor, told the Home Circuit Court that he picked up a man, whom he later identified as Khajeel Mais, at a gas station on Manning’s Hill Road in St Andrew, and was taking him to his destination on Chevy Chase when he hit the back of a vehicle, which, he claimed, came out of nowhere.

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The charges against Powell were dismissed after the prosecution this morning told the court that it would offer no evidence.

Justice Lloyd Hibbert then directed the juror to return a formal verdict of not guilty.

Powell was charged with murder and shooting with intent.

The development comes after the prosecution’s star witness Wayne Wright on Friday recanted his witness statements to the police in 2011.

Wright was declared a hostile witness by the prosecution.

“I hit a vehicle; I don’t know if it was parked or driving. It was a black vehicle with a light at the top,” Wright said. “When I hit it I saw the vehicle and I was like, Oh s…! and I try reverse.”

Wright said he reversed and stopped under a street light about 20 feet from the vehicle and was about to park when the car was fired upon.

[Leaked Update: with no solid evidence to convict Powell of the 2011 murder of Mais he is now a free of the murder charge but is to make another appearance in court for license firearm breach.