Tue | Nov 24, 2020

Trought shot at close range, expert says

Published:Tuesday | June 4, 2019 | 12:32 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Gunpowder particles found lodged in the fibres of a shirt removed from the body of Anthony ‘Toby’ Trought have suggested that he was shot at close range.

This is according to evidence given by a crime-scene expert, who said that when gunpowder particles are found in a garment worn by a person who has been shot, it meant the shot originated from six feet or less.

Microscopic images of the gunpowder particles found on two different sections of Trought’s shirt were admitted into evidence as the trial of Detective Corporal Kevin Adams and Constable Jerome Whyte continued at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Attorney-at-law Queen’s Counsel Valerie Neita-Robertson asked the forensic expert if in the handling of the shirt – folding and packaging – gunshot residue (GSR) could have been transferred from one part of the shirt to another.

He said, “Yes, it is possible.”

She also asked if moisture would cause the level of GSR on the hand of a body to be reduced.

The forensic expert said, “Moisture, if it is aggressively applied, such as washing, can remove gunpowder residue.”

The defence attorney, seemingly puzzled, then asked if moisture could affect gunpowder residue.

“Moisture will not reduce prima gunshot residue,” the forensic expert insisted.

She also asked, “Did INDECOM (Independent Commission of Investigations) give you an account of the prosecution’s case?”

“Yes, they provided information.”

He later added, “I would say no. My role was to examine the physical evidence to assist INDECOM in deciding how to proceed.”

Neita-Robertson asked, “Would this information affect your analysis?”

“Yes, it would,” the expert said.

Adams and Whyte are accused of murdering Trought along 1st Street, Terrier Town, Clarendon on February 13, 2012. They have maintained that they acted in self-defence.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com