Sat | Aug 24, 2019

Vanessa Kirkland Murder Trial | Majority of gunshots came from outside vehicle, says crime-scene expert

Published:Wednesday | January 23, 2019 | 12:45 AM

Twelve of the 14 bullet impacts observed in the blue Suzuki Swift motor car in which 16-year-old Immaculate Conception High School student Vanessa Kirkland was shot and killed on March 20, 2012, came from the outside, according to a crime-scene expert.

The witness, who has more than 15 years’ experience in forensic science, was testifying in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston in the trial for police constables Anna-Kay Bailey, Durvin Hayles and Andrewain Smith, who are charged with Kirkland’s murder.

The witness, who had carried out an examination of the vehicle six months after the incident, said the origins of the other two bullet impacts could not be determined.

He told the court that six bullets hit the tailgate of the motor car.

He said one of the bullets that hit the lower back of the vehicle continued forward into the back seat and stopped. The bullet was found between the fabric and the metal in the seat.

A second bullet was intercepted by an object, which the expert said may have been a passenger or an item that was later removed.

According to the witness, another bullet went through the right edge of the rear windscreen, shattering it outward from the point of impact.

He said that this bullet continued forward and hit the frame of the tailgate on the driver’s side of the right hand-driven vehicle.

It was also revealed that shots were fired into the left passenger side of the vehicle while the doors were opened.

The allegations are that the Suzuki Swift was parked along Norman Lane in St Andrew when police drove up and opened fire at the vehicle, resulting in Kirkland’s death.