Peter Vogel Murder Trial: Accused couple denies killing university lecturer
Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer
The former household helper who is on trial for killing university lecturer Dr Peter Vogel says she regrets not going to the police about the murder, but insists that she had no involvement in his death.
"I regret that I was not strong enough to go to the police," Vogel's former live-in helper, Yanika Scott, told the seven-member jury that will decide her fate.
Scott and her boyfriend, Kelvin Downer are accused of killing Vogel at his home in College Commons, St Andrew on July 18, 2007.
The former lecturer was found with his hands tied behind his back, his feet bound at the ankle and a piece of cloth tied around his mouth.
Scott, who was giving an unsworn statement in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston, acknowledged that she and Downer were at the house.
However, she testified that "some men entered the room and ordered her not to move.
"I was frightened," she recounted.
According to Scott, the men later ordered her and Downer from the room through a rear exit.
"Kelvin drove and we left the property," she testified.
Scott said she and her boyfriend came out of the van on Beechwood Avenue and they walked home.
"I walked home in fear and confusion," she revealed, insisting that the last time she saw Vogel he was alive.
Scott said she learnt the following day that Vogel was dead and "became even more afraid."
As a result, she said she packed her personal belongings and took her daughter to live in Montego Bay.
Scott said she apparently dropped her cell phone in the car on the night she and her boyfriend were led out of Vogel's home by gunmen and, as a consequence, she became fearful that they would find it then find her.
"So I changed my name to Kamesha Lecky and sent my daughter to her grandmother," she testified.
Downer, in his unsworn statement, said he knew he made a mistake when he did not immediately report what happened at the former lecturer's home to the police.
"But I was young, afraid and scared at the time," he recounted.
"When I found out I was a suspect for the murder of Dr Peter Vogel I totally panicked. I didn't trust the police at the time and eventually when I trusted the police I was charged for the murder," added Downer.
"God knows I did not kill Mr Peter Vogel," he insisted.