Kahjeel Mais' mother questioned about his character
The character of slain Kingston College (KC) student Khajeel Mais was placed under the microscope yesterday as the long-delayed trial of his alleged killer, businessman Patrick Powell, began with an emotional testimony from the teen's mother.
Allana Mais struggled to maintain her composure after she entered the witness box in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston and began recounting how she learnt of her son's death on the evening of July 1, 2011 in Havendale, St Andrew.
Before that, lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor, in his opening address to the seven-member jury, outlined the case against Powell, suggesting that the teen's death was as a result of "an exaggerated form of road rage". Taylor charged that the taxi in which the teen was travelling hit a BMW X6 and the driver of the luxury vehicle came out and fired several shots into the taxi.
"They were new, they were the rave then ... the it in luxury vehicle," Taylor said in reference to the BMW X6.
"Someone was angry because of what happened on the road, what happened to their vehicle. The allegation is that Mr Powell was this person who was angry and took that anger to the extreme," he continued.
Allana Mais testified that minutes after she dropped off her son at a taxi stand near Mannings Hill Road and Border Avenue, she got a call from a family friend.
"He said, 'Mi jus' put yuh son in a one taxi an' mi si it shot [speed] gone back up the road an' dem seh dem shoot up di car'," Allana Mais recounted of the telephone conversation with the family friend.
Amid the tears, she testified that she and her daughter drove to the Constant Spring Police Station and were directed to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).
"Let me pause to give you some time to compose yourself," said Taylor, who was leading her through her evidence.
On the resumption, Mais said at KPH, she was ushered into an emergency room where she saw her son lying on a bed in a cubicle with nurses and doctors gathered around him.
"I watched him take his last breath," she testified.
"I saw him breathing for a while, then there was a gasp, then there was nothing," she continued.
Mais recounted that she immediately started screaming. "I woke up in a hospital cubicle next door because they had to sedate me," she said.
However, during cross-examination by Powell's attorney, Deborah Martin, Mais conceded that Khajeel, who entered KC in second form, had behavioural issues that extended beyond the institution.
As an example, she acknowledged that her son had "a matter" before the Juvenile Court.
Mais also admitted that Khajeel "had a few issues" during his time at KC.
"This resulted in you getting calls from the school?" Powell's attorney questioned.
"Yes, it did," she replied.
Five of the 27 witnesses listed on the indictment, including Khajeel's father, Noel Mais Jr, gave evidence yesterday.
The trial is scheduled to continue today with Police Corporal Robert Robinson giving evidence.