Sat | Nov 18, 2017

Peter Vogel trial | Prosecutors close their case

Published:Friday | June 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

Lawyers for the former household helper who is on trial with her boyfriend for killing university lecturer Dr Peter Vogel are today expected to ask a judge to dismiss the charges against them.

Yesterday, prosecutors closed their case in the murder trial of Yanika Scott, Vogel's former live-in helper, and her boyfriend, Kelvin Downer, after nine days of testimony in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Following this, the attorneys for both accused, Jacqueline Asher and Diane Jobson, alerted presiding judge Justice Evon Brown that they would be making submissions on behalf of their clients.

Brown will hear the no-case submissions before deciding whether the charges should be dismissed.

Vogel, who was a lecturer at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, was found strangled at his home, located in College Commons, St Andrew, on July 18, 2007. Forensic pathologist Dr S. N. Prasad Kadiyala testified during the trial that Vogel died of "asphyxia secondary to strangulation".

The lead police investigator, Deputy Superintendent Webster Francis, testified that Vogel was found gagged, his hands tied behind his back, and his feet bound at the ankle.

Before prosecutors closed their case, a police inspector gave evidence that appeared to contradict the testimony of the lead investigator.

Inspector Christopher Anderson, who was one of two police scene-of-crime personnel dispatched to Vogel's home in the hours after his body was discovered, testified that the bed in the helper's quarters appeared dishevelled.

"The helper's room was more disorganised than the other rooms, and two sheets were also observed on the floor," said Anderson as he was led through his evidence by lead prosecutor Maxine Jackson.

Francis testified earlier this week that when he visited the crime scene, "the bed in the helper's room appeared as if it had not been slept in".

Francis and Prasad Kadiyala also testified that Vogel's body was found on its back.

Anderson, however, testified that Vogel's body was found lying face down.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com