Mon | May 20, 2019

‘Odd, very odd indeed’

Published:Wednesday | February 6, 2019 | 7:12 AM

Defence attorney Peter Champagnie has described as “odd” a Crown witness’ reaction when a .38 revolver was presented to him in court during the Vanessa Kirkland murder trial nearly four weeks ago.

Champagnie quoted the witness, who was a passenger in the blue Suzuki Swift vehicle, as saying, “A wah this beside me?” when the gun was shown to him in court.

“Odd, very odd indeed. Very odd. Very, very odd,” Champagnie said.

He made this comment while delivering his closing arguments in the trial of three cops charged with the 2012 murder of 16-year-old Kirkland at the downtown Kingston-based Home Circuit Court.

The firearm, which is said to have been found near the driver’s door of the blue Suzuki Swift motor car, was admitted into evidence earlier in the trial.

The attorney also pointed out to the jury that the witness claimed to be a law-abiding citizen, but it was found out that he had an outstanding matter in the Corporate Area Parish Court.

He also said that the witness told the court that he had never been to Portmore, but Independent Commission of Investigations forensic analyst Kathrina Graham confirmed photographing Portmore toll receipts in the vehicle.

With all this, Champagnie told the jury that it was up to them to decide whether this witness was credible.

The attorney also urged the jury not to let their sympathy for the dead teen cloud their minds, but arrive at a verdict based on the evidence. He also asserted that they should not arrive at a verdict based on a general negative perception they may have of police personnel.

Before that, prosecutor Kathy-Ann Pyke told the jury that the cops should be found guilty because they had no need to use force.

It is alleged that constables Andrewain Smith, Durvin Hayles and Anna-Kay Bailey drove on to Norman Lane in St Andrew on March 20, 2012, when they opened fire at the blue Suzuki Swift motor car parked along the left side of the road.

Kirkland, who was in the vehicle, was shot and killed.

The cops have maintained that they acted in self-defence.