Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Shocking U-turn in X6 trial - Main witness back-pedals on testimony

Published:Saturday | October 22, 2016 | 10:00 AMLivern Barrett
Patrick Powell makes his way from the Kingston and St Andrew (RM) Parish Court in 2011.

The main prosecution witness in the so-called X6 murder trial yesterday rejected aspects of two statements he gave police investigators, which provided details of the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais in 2011.

Wayne Wright, the driver of the taxi in which Mais was shot, also testified in the Home Circuit Court that a police inspector tried to get him to implicate a man in the shooting.

The developments, which came on day four of the trial, forced prosecutors to request an early adjournment to contemplate their next move.

"My Lord, we are requesting an adjournment until Monday while we do some consideration of the case," lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor asked presiding judge Justice Lloyd Hibbert just before 1 o'clock.

Businessman Patrick Powell is on trial for murder and shooting with intent arising from Mais' death in Havendale, St Andrew, on July 1, 2011.

According to prosecutors, the teen was a passenger in a taxi that collided with a BMW X6 luxury vehicle.

They further alleged that the driver of the X6 came out and fired several bullets into the taxi before fleeing the scene.

 

WITNESS TESTIMONY

 

Wright, in his second day on the witness stand, acknowledged that he signed two statements taken on separate days by police investigators, but repeatedly rejected excerpts of both statements when they were read to him by Taylor.

"Didn't you tell Mr [Detective Inspector Vernal] Thompson on the 8th of July 2011 that 'Nigga' was the man who came out of the BMW X6 on July 1, 2011?" Taylor asked the witness.

"No," Wright replied.

"And didn't you say he had a gun in his hand?" Taylor questioned.

"No," the witness again replied.

"And didn't you tell Mr Thompson that he [Nigga] 'fired four shots into my car?'" the prosecutor pressed.

"Him show me a driver's licence and seh this is the man; him name 'Nigga' [and] a long time me waa get him'," the taxi driver testified.

He also told the court that while at the Constant Spring Police Station in St Andrew, Thompson pointed him to a vehicle and told him to "go over there and tell dem man deh say a dat u lick up inna".

"And me say no me nah do dat," he testified.

Wright also insisted that he never told police investigators that he was driving behind a BMW X6 and ran into the rear of the luxury vehicle on Highland Drive while attempting to overtake it. He also rejected suggestions that he gave a description of the man who came out of the X6 and fired several bullets into his motor vehicle.

"I don't know what you are talking about," Wright insisted, acknowledging that he signed the statements, but claimed they were never read over to him.

In a rare move, the senior prosecutor sought and received permission to treat Wright as a hostile witness.

Taylor, in his application to Hibbert, argued that the taxi driver had shown himself to be "adverse and inconsistent".

The trial is scheduled to continue on Monday.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com