Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Peter Vogel Murder Trial: Defence says accused targeted because 'white man dead uptown'

Published:Tuesday | June 27, 2017 | 1:25 PM
Dr Peter Vogel was killed inside his home in College Commons, St Andrew in July 2007.

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

One defence attorney in the Peter Vogel murder trial today suggested that the former household helper charged, along with her boyfriend, for killing the former university lecturer were targeted because "white man dead uptown".

"They wanted to solve this high-profile case quickly," attorney-at-law Diane Jobson asserted.

Jobson also urged the seven-member jury to beware of prosecutors who quote scriptures.

"Beware of the red-herring. This is a circumstantial case. They have no real evidence," Jobson said in her closing argument in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Yanika Scott, Dr Vogel's former live-in helper, and her boyfriend, Kelvin Downer, are accused of killing the former University of the West Indies lecturer inside his home in College Commons, St Andrew in July 2007.

Forensic pathologist, Dr S N Prasad Kadiyala, said Vogel was strangled.

Jobson told the jury that in former years when a white man was killed in England, the butlers and the gardeners would be the first persons targeted by investigators.

"In Jamaica we don't use butlers so the helper is a good substitute," she said in reference to Scott.

"For you to accept that they are guilty all the peripheral evidence they bring will have to point to these accused and no one else," Jobson told the seven-member jury.

She said none of the 20 witnesses called by the prosecution brought any evidence pointing to the involvement of either accused in Dr Vogel's death.