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Vanessa Kirkland Murder Trial | Eyewitness recounts fatal incident

Published:Monday | January 14, 2019 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

A Crown witness yesterday said that she saw when the police opened fire on the blue Suzuki Swift motor car that was parked along Norman Lane in St Andrew on March 20, 2012, as she testified in the trial of three cops charged with the murder of Vanessa Kirkland at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The witness, who was shot in the leg during the gunfire, said she went to Norman Lane to visit a friend who was having a party in the area on the night when the incident happened.

She told the court that she and two other girls were sitting on a table outside the house near to the party when the Suzuki Swift drove up to them at moderate pace. The witness said she was not able to see who was in the vehicle because it was heavily tinted, the windows were wound up and the doors remained closed.

She said a police vehicle drove up, after which cops clad in dark blue uniforms exited the vehicle and opened fire on the Suzuki Swift motor car. She testified that she observed no shots or explosions coming from that motor vehicle. The witness said she noticed that she was shot as she made her way to safety in her friend's house.


'No shots from car'


But under cross-examination, attorney Peter Champagnie, who is representing accused Constable Andre Wain Smith, suggested, "When you say no shots or explosions came from the blue car, you cannot answer it with certainty?"

"Yes, I can answer with certainty," she answered. "Well ... when the car drove up no one came out (of the blue Suzuki Swift) and no shots were firing."

The witness acknowledged that in her statement she said that the shooting happened swiftly and so she was not able to identify any of the cops, in particular the one who shot her. However, during re-examination, she clarified that she meant she could not tell if it was a police man or woman who had shot her.

The other accused are constables Anna-Kay Bailey and Durvin Hayles.

The trial continues today.