Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Peter Vogel Murder Trial: Prosecution, defence to present closing arguments

Published:Monday | June 26, 2017 | 7:26 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The prosecution and the defence are to begin presenting their closing arguments on Tuesday in the trial of the former household helper who, along with her boyfriend, are accused of killing university lecturer, Dr Peter Vogel.

On Monday afternoon, defence attorneys closed their case.

Vogel’s former live-in helper, Yanika Scott, and her boyfriend, Kelvin Downer, are on trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston for the murder of the former lecturer inside his home in College Commons, St Andrew.

Vogel was found with his hands tied behind his back, his feet bound at the ankle and a cloth tied around his mouth on July 18, 2007.

Forensic pathologist, Dr S N Prasad Kadiyala has testified that he died of "asphyxia secondary to strangulation".

Scott, in giving an unsworn statement, Monday, 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.