Tue | May 21, 2019

Vanessa Kirkland murder trial | Prosecutor asks jury to ignore cop’s cries for Jesus

Published:Tuesday | February 5, 2019 | 12:25 AM

Defence attorneys representing the three police constables charged with the 2012 murder of Vanessa Kirkland yesterday closed their case as the trial continued at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The defence has argued that the accused constables took evasive action when they fired upon the blue Suzuki Swift motor car parked along Norman Lane in St Andrew on March 20, 2012.

Sixteen-year-old Kirkland, who was in the vehicle, succumbed to injuries sustained during the gunfire.

In unsworn statements made in court, police constables Andrewain Smith, Durvin Hayles and Ann-Kay Bailey maintained that they acted in self-defence on the night of the incident.

Presenting her closing argument, attorney-at-law Nadine Guy urged the seven-member jury to focus on the evidence, despite the sad nature of the case.

She also said that the witness’ testimony about being robbed by men travelling in a blue Suzuki Swift motor car was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Guy asserted that common sense indicates that both incidents are “intricately connected”.

She said Kirkland’s death was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Earlier in the proceedings, Bailey gave an unsworn statement in court and had to be escorted from the courtroom to compose herself as she repeatedly shouted, “Hallelujah! Jesus! Hallelujah!”

In reference to that, prosecutor Kathy-Ann Pyke told the jury, “It is meant to jerk your heart, to evoke sympathy because they are young.” She urged the jury to look at the case dispassionately.

She also said, “Even when they come in here and they weep and they moan, there is a standard expected from the police officers.”

Pyke suggested that the gun found at the scene was not used in the incident, and even if it was fired that day, it didn’t mean it was fired at the police.

“That was a concoction. It is a mek-up story,” Pyke said, referencing the police’s account of the events on the night of the incident.

The trial continues today when defence counsel Peter Champagnie and Oswest Senior-Smith are expected to present closing arguments.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com