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Who Did Kill Us Mother?

By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net A SECOND person accused of murdering Anna Garrison has walked free from court leaving the question of who killed the US mother unanswered. Zyndall McKinney, of Marathon Estates, was acquitted of her murder just two weeks after his ex-lover Madison Pugh was also cleared of murdering Garrison - Pugh's mother. While yesterday's all-women 12-member jury were clear on 25-year-old McKinney being innocent of the 2009 murder, they were hung 7-5 on a lesser charge of manslaughter, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial. Prosecutor Ambrose Armbrister immediately asked Justice Roy Jones for a retrial on the charge of manslaughter. However, defending attorney Murrio Ducille argued that his client stood trial on murder and was acquitted of murder. The judge set aside a date to hear the arguments and McKinney was bailed to reappear later. McKinney is the ex-lover of Ms Pugh, Anna Garrison's daughter. McKinney and Ms Pugh were both accused of killing Garrison, who is from the US but lived in the Bahamas. She went missing in February 2009 only to be found on Fox Hill Road on July 4, 2009, US Independence Day. She was found dead in multi-coloured sheets that covered up her decomposed body. McKinney and Ms Pugh each denied a charge of murder. Yesterday's Supreme Court verdict came after the jury, having been excused following the judge's summation of the trial, returned with a note at 4pm. They asked the judge for legal clarity and directions on the charge of murder, manslaughter and the act of self-defence. After nearly 30 minutes of explaining the three terms and referring to evidence throughout the trial where the three terms arose, the jury was excused a second time to deliberate. Unlike their first deliberation which took hours, this was done in a matter of minutes. The foreman announced the verdicts and a mistrial was declared. The judge told McKinney of the verdict and said that a retrial was in order pending the outcome of the discussions between counsel. Outside court, McKinney's mother Ingrid Nixon declared yesterday's outcome a small victory despite the jury not coming through on the lesser charge. "I would just like to say that the truth 'never wears a mask' to quote Mr Ducille's favorite words. "But I was a little disappointed because I thought the jurors would understand and go by the evidence given in court. But of course, it seemed as if they were a little bit confused." She and her family remain hopeful and optimistic of a better outcome when Mr Ducille presents his arguments to Justice Jones. Ms Pugh, 19, of Pennsylvania, USA, was acquitted of murder on Friday, May 25, after the jury, which had been excused for two days while attorneys and the judge held private discussions, was directed to deliver a not-guilty verdict. The discussions in the absence of the jury - between Justice Jones, prosecutor Ambrose Armbrister and defence attorney Elliot Lockhart - were sparked by Mr Lockhart's objection to an alleged DVD recorded interview between a US policeman and Madison Pugh being admitted into evidence. When the jury returned to court, the judge told them there was insufficient evidence in the case against Ms Pugh and ordered them to find her not guilty. McKinney, however, was still tried and the prosecution presented an alleged video recorded interview of him 'confessing' to the crime and taking police through the incident. McKinney always denied killing Garrison as reflected in his recorded interview in which he does not admit to killing her. Defence attorney Murrio Ducille said his client was innocent of murder when he addressed the jury in his opening address. His client however, opted not to take the witness stand, choosing to rely on the evidence that was given in trial. The autopsy report and testimony by Princess Margaret Hospital pathologist Dr Caryn Sands show that Garrison did not have any stab wounds to the chest, only multiple stab wounds to the back, which Mr McKinney's recorded interview said was done by Pugh. McKinney, in his interview with homicide detective Inspector Antoine Rahming told the police that Ms Garrison came to his home for Madison Pugh, pulled out a knife and attacked him when her daughter would not leave with her and was stabbed by Madison Pugh during a struggle with himself and Garrison. He said at some point in the struggle she was stabbed in the chest and collapsed though Dr Sands' report said that Garrison died from stab wounds to her back. The jury heard this and other evidence in the trial for two weeks before acquitting McKinney of murder. A manslaughter charge still looms over his head after the re-trial was ordered - but discussions about the order will take place first. Meanwhile McKinney is on bail.

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