TIMELINE: How the Peter Vogel murder trial unfolded
Thirty-one-year-old Yanika Scott and her boyfriend Kelvin Downer, 29, were today found guilty of the murder of university lecturer Dr Peter Vogel.
Scott and Downer were convicted after their 13-day trial in the Home Circuit Court in which 20 witnesses were called by the prosecution and one by the defence.
Lead prosecutor Maxine Jackson led evidence that the murder was motivated by anger and bitterness because Scott was about to be fired, but said robbery was also a factor.
Here’s how the case unfolded:
July 19, 2007 at 1 am:
Dr Vogel's body is found by his six-year-old son, Daniel, inside the study room at the family's home in College Commons, St Andrew.
November 20, 2008:
The helper's boyfriend, Kelvin Downer, 20-years-old at the time, is apprehended by the police.
December 23, 2008:
Downer is charged for killing the university lecturer after a question-and-answer session with police investigators, which included 370 questions over four days.
May 16, 2012:
Yanika Scott, who changed her name to Kamesha Lecky, is arrested by the police along Harbour Street in downtown Montego Bay, St James.
May 25, 2012:
Scott is charged with killing her former boss after a question-and-answer session with investigators that included 113 questions over two days.
June 12, 2017:
The murder trial starts after 10 years. Vogel's widow testified that the accused helper was about to be fired.
June 14, 2017:
Court hears accused changed identity after the incident.
June 15, 2017:
Downer’s mother testifies that he ignored her plea to report to the police.
June 19, 2017:
Forensic pathologist, Dr S N Prasad Kadiyala says the lecturer was tied up by more than one person and received multiple injuries before he was strangled
June 20, 2017
Retired detective inspector Adrian Dennie revealed that the former household helper told him that masked gunmen invaded the former university lecturer's St Andrew home on the night of his death. He also said there was no sign of forced entry or exit at the home of the university lecturer.
June 21, 2017
Lead investigator Deputy Superintendent Webster Francis tells court accused refused to provide police with DNA samples and a fingerprint report did not implicate the helper or her boyfriend.
June 22, 2017
Inspector Christopher Anderson, who was one of two police scenes-of-crime personnel dispatched to Vogel's St Andrew home contradicted his colleague saying the bed in the helper's quarters appeared dishevelled. The prosecution later closed its case.
June 23, 2017
Defence attorney Jacqueline Asher in making a no-case submission said the prosecution has failed to connect the helper to crime but Justice Brown dismisses the submission saying the accused have a case to answer and that the evidence rises above suspicion.
June 26, 2017
Accused couple make unsworn statements from the dock, denying killing the university lecturer. "I regret that I was not strong enough to go to the police," Vogel's former live-in helper, Yanika Scott, told the seven-member jury. Scott said she apparently dropped her cell phone in the car on the night she and her boyfriend were led out of Vogel's home by gunmen and, as a consequence, she became fearful that they would find it then find her. Downer said he knew he made a mistake when he did not immediately report what happened at the former lecturer's home to the police. "But I was young, afraid and scared at the time," he recounted. "When I found out I was a suspect for the murder of Dr Peter Vogel I totally panicked. I didn't trust the police at the time and eventually when I trusted the police I was charged for the murder.”
June 2, 2017:
Prosecutor calls the killing the worst kind of act as she presents her closing arguments. "It's a case of the two of them acting together. She may have had the mind of Delilah, but she drew him into this," Jackson argued.
June 27, 2017:
Defence says accused targeted because "white man dead uptown' and notes that the lecturer could have let in his killers. Jobson told the jury that in former years when a white man was killed in England, the butlers and the gardeners would be the first persons targeted by investigators. "In Jamaica we don't use butlers so the helper is a good substitute," she said in reference to Scott.
June 28, 2017:
Judge begins summation after defence closes case.
June 29, 2017
Jury retires for two and a half hours before returning guilty verdict.