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Verdict Due Over Sex Attack Killing

By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net A VERDICT in the Supreme Court trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting and killing a woman nearly two years ago will be handed down today. The prosecution alleges that on the morning of August 13, 2010, 29-year-old Phillip McCartney killed Chrishonda Swain, whose body was found on a track road. Ms Swain, of Thatch Palm Avenue, Pinewood Gardens, was found in an area off Faith Avenue South just after 7.30am that Friday. According to testimony, the victim, along with two female cousins had caught a ride from a club on Soldier Road with a man driving a Mitsubishi Mirage. The cousins, who lived 10 minutes walking distance from Swain in Pinewood Gardens, were dropped off. However, Swain never made it home and was later found dead by police. Testimony from pathologist Dr Caryn Sands revealed the cause of death to be "blunt force injuries to the head, torso and extremities". The physician said Chrishonda had received multiple cuts and bruises to her head, along with multiple skull fractures, muscle tearing and internal bleeding in the left eye and brain. The severity of the force injuries had caused her left temple bone to depress into her brain. At the close of the trial, defence attorney Ramona Farquharson-Seymour contended that the prosecution had not proven its case against her client. Mrs Farquharson-Seymour told the jury the only purported evidence against her client is an "alleged confession" and a "purported ID of Phillip McCartney's car". She added that DNA evidence did not put her client near the body of Chrishonda Swain and contended her client is innocent of the crime. Lead prosecutor Jillian Williams, assisted by Raquel Whyms, argued that the police performed well in their investigation considering the circumstances, and refuted suggestions the officers were not thorough or were trying to frame McCartney. She noted that he was not the only suspect questioned in connection with the incident, as Jermain Ferguson and Petro Bodie were also arrested. Regarding the claim his confession was forced, Ms Williams said a videotape of McCartney's confession showed otherwise. The matter resumes today at 11am in the Ansbacher House courtroom, Bank Lane, where Justice Bernard Turner will review the evidence for the jury before excusing them to deliberate and decide a verdict.

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