Sat | Aug 24, 2019

Motor vehicle shot 14 times, expert testifies at Vanessa Kirkland murder trial

Published:Tuesday | January 22, 2019 | 5:19 PM

A crime scene expert today testified that the blue Suzuki Swift motorcar in which Vanessa Kirkland was shot and killed on March 20, 2012, was hit 14 times by bullets.

The 16-year-old schoolgirl was reportedly killed when members of a police team opened fire on the car.
Six other passengers were also shot.

The car was reportedly chased by the police following an alleged robbery in Portmore, St Catherine, that ended with a reported shootout on Norman Lane in Kingston 13.

The witness carried out an examination of the vehicle on September 14, 2012, accompanied by Independent Commission of Investigations investigator Katharina Graham.

He said that the trajectories of 12 of the bullet impacts suggest that the car was fired on from behind on the outside, while the origins of the two other bullet impacts could not be determined. 

The witness, who has a forensic science consultancy in the United States, told the court that six bullets hit the tailgate of the motorcar. 

He said one of the bullets that hit the lower back of the vehicle continued forward into the back seat and stopped.

The bullet was found between the fabric and the metal in the seat.

A second bullet was intercepted by an object which the expert said may have been a passenger or an item that was later removed. 

According to the witness, another bullet went through the right edge of the rear windscreen shattering it outward from the point of impact.

He said that this bullet continued forward and hit the frame of the tailgate on the driver's side of the right hand-driven vehicle. 

It was also revealed that shots were fired into the left passenger side of the vehicle while the doors were opened. 

The witness was testifying at the trial of police Constables Anna-Kay Bailey, Durvin Hayles and Andrewain Smith, who are charged with murder and wounding with intent, in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. 

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