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76 calls in a day - Prosecution lays out closing argument in Oaklands murder trial

Published:Tuesday | September 6, 2016 | 9:00 AMLivern Barrett

The prosecution yesterday painted businessman Stephen Causewell as a scorned, obsessive and controlling lover and likened the allegations against him to a case of fatal attraction.

Lead prosecutor Paula Llewellyn, in seeking to convince a seven-member jury to find Causewell guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Nardia Mitchell, cited phone records which showed that the businessman called his former flame 76 times in less than 24 hours a week before she was found dead at the Oaklands apartment complex in St Andrew.

"Mr Foreman and members of the jury, is this normal?" Llewellyn questioned during her closing argument in the Home Circuit Court.

She noted that the calls were made while Mitchell was spending the week with her new beau, Kevin McCormack, and were traced to the Oakland cell site.

"Which means that he was right in the vicinity of her apartment waiting for her to come home," Llewellyn, the director of public prosecutions (DPP), asserted.

"What does that tell you about this man? That he is a compulsive and obsessive person. This is a case of a fatal attraction, a fatal attraction that ended in the death of Nardia Mitchell," she continued.

Causewell's lead attorney Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, however, challenged prosecutors to point to any evidence elicited during the trial which proved that he killed Mitchell.

Mitchell's body was found in the yard at the apartment complex in July 2008. According to prosecutors, a post-mortem examination revealed that her body had 27 injuries, 19 of which were inflicted before she died.

The businessman has admitted that he and Mitchell - the mother of a 10-year-old

daughter at the time - had an argument inside her apartment, but claimed that she stormed out after he told her he wanted to end their eight-year relationship.

Samuels-Brown, in her closing argument, said there was no evidence of how the fight started or whether her client was acting in self-defence.

There is no evidence that Ms Mitchell's death was caused by any injuries inflicted by Mr Causewell," she added.

"What he [Causewell] told you, and this is supported by their [prosecutors] forensic expert, is that it was just a tussle, a fight for a short time and then she stormed out. So what happened in that apartment was not the cause of her death," Samuels-Brown argued.

 

Use 'common sense'

 

However, while conceding that there was no eyewitness account of how Mitchell died, Llewellyn shared her own theory of what happened inside the apartment and urged jurors to use their "common sense" when they come to analyse the case.

"Nardia did not stand a chance. Mr Causewell went into her property and she succumbed to her injuries in short order," she said, pointing out that the businessman sustained no injuries in the fight with his former flame.

Llewellyn told jurors that there was no evidence that anyone else inflicted violence on Mitchell the night she died.

"Do not let him get away with it. Nardia Mitchell did not deserve to die like that," the prosecutor said.

The trial continues today when presiding judge Carol Lawrence-Beswick is expected to begin her summation of the case and direction to the jury.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com