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Prosecution Closes Case In Marina Village Attempted Murder Trial

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE prosecution yesterday closed its case in the attempted murder trial of two men accused of shooting two Atlantis security guards on duty in Marina Village on a Halloween night.

Prosecutor Jillian Williams indicated to Senior Justice Jon Isaacs that the Crown was closing its case having heard the evidence of the case’s chief investigating officer and considering that one of their remaining witnesses could not come to court.

The Crown’s closure of its case leaves the defence of 22-year-old Clarence Smith and 20-year-old Bashard Seymour to present their case to the jury.

Smith and Seymour, of Dolphin Drive and Eight Terrace Centreville, face two charges of attempted murder. It is claimed that on October 31, 2009, they tried to kill Dwayne De Costa, 46, and 33-year-old Troy Feaste.

Both accused have denied the charges.

Yesterday Inspector Uel Johnson, a Detective Sergeant at the time of the shooting, testified that he conducted interviews with both Seymour and Smith on November 1.

Inspector Johnson said he put several questions to Seymour after cautioning him concerning the shooting the previous night.

Inspector Johnson read the statement that Seymour opted to give to the police.

On the day in question, around 8pm to 9.30pm, he along with ‘A’ (name not said due to an issue of law brought up during trial) went over to Paradise, where ‘A’ parked the car in a parking lot near the roundabout by the entrance to Marina Village.

The two got out of the car and walked through the village until they were approached by two men near the shops.

The men inquired who they were before he was pulled to the side by one of the men.

After telling the man his name and that he came to Marina Village to enjoy himself, he noticed a female walking past carrying a pizza box and tried to get her attention though he was ignored.

While speaking to the men, they asked if he and ‘A’ came to the village to cause trouble. He told them no and reiterated that he was there to enjoy himself.

Seymour and ‘A’ continued to walk through the village and were headed to the exit when they were stopped by the men again and after talking, Seymour saw ‘A’ pull out a dull silver coloured gun and he heard a gun shot go off and he ran, the court heard.

As he ran, he heard four more shots go off. He ran into a man dressed all in black who asked him where he was going.

Seymour said he had no idea ‘A’ had a gun on him and he ran before hearing a gunshot. He had done nothing wrong, he said.

Prosecutor Williams asked the investigating officer if an interview was done with Smith. Inspector Johnson said that an interview was started but was halted after Smith requested to have an attorney present. The interview continued in the presence of his then attorney Terell Butler.

Smith told the detective that on the evening he did go to Marina Village in his mum’s car and ran into Seymour there, the court heard.

He maintained that he only spoke to security once and denied knowledge about him producing a gun and shooting at security guard officers.

Before signing his statement, he wished to rectify that he was by his ‘girl’ that evening.

Clothing (green-white striped shirt and jeans) that was taken from Seymour on November 2, was shown to the court.

In cross-examination, Smith’s attorney, Murrio Ducille asked the investigating officer if his client was obligated to answer any questions put to him during the interview.

“No sir” Mr Johnson answered.

“Clarence Smith didn’t tell you that he shot anyone?” Mr Ducille asked.

“No sir,” the prosecution witness answered.

“When you interviewed him, was it the 1st of November?” the attorney asked.

“Yes sir,” the witness answered.

“Were you the one who gave instructions for his photo to be taken?” Ducille asked.

“I don’t recall” Mr Johnson asked.

“Do you know if it was taken?” the attorney ask. Mr Johnson said he did but answered Mr Ducille’s next question that he could not recall if Smith’s hair was braided at the time because the incident was in 2009.

“You are the chief investigating officer?” Ducille asked.

“I am,” Johnson replied.

“He [Smith] went to court on November 3?” Ducille asked.

“It may have been” the police inspector replied.

“About two days after you interviewed him?” the attorney asked.

“Yes sir” the policeman answered.

“You didn’t arrest him?” the attorney said. The officer said he did not.

“I’m suggesting to you, this young man [Smith] had no braids, no corn rows, no hair turned up,” Mr Ducille said.

“I don’t recall,” the officer said.

“From the time you interviewed him to now, he has been in custody?” the attorney asked.

“I can’t say, I don’t know” Mr Johnson answered.

“This matter was well publicised?” Ducille asked.

However, Senior Justice Isaacs told the witness not to answer the question as it had no relevance. Mr Ducille said he wished to show the officer two newspaper clippings.

However, prosecutor Williams objected to this and said that there was a proper time and forum for Mr Ducille to present the clippings. The judge agreed and told Mr Ducille to resume with his questioning.

“You saw a photograph with 12 persons on it that would resemble an identification parade?” the attorney asked.

“Yes sir,” the officer answered.

“On that photograph, one of them is purported to be Clarence Smith?” Mr Ducille said. The officer said yes.

Mr Ducille asked the witness to look at the first photograph and asked if that person appeared to have his hair twined up.

“Yes sir,” Johnson said.

Mr Ducille asked the policeman if his client’s hair resembled this when the officer interviewed him. The judge told Mr Ducille to move on.

Seymour’s attorney, Cheryl Bazard cross-examined the policeman next.

“Officer, at the time of the incident, Mr Seymour would’ve been a minor?” the attorney asked. Inspector Johnson said yes.

“And you indicated that you took from him certain items?” the attorney asked.

“Yes,” the officer replied.

Ms Bazard asked the officer if he made a note of this and he said he did so in the report, which could be found attached to Seymour’s file in a case diary.

“He (Bashard) never said he attacked anybody?” the attorney asked. The officer answered no.

“So he, as he said to you, was not part of the shooting?” Ms Bazard asked?

“Not in so many words, but he said when he heard the first shot, he ran,” the officer said.

Ms Bazard had no further questions and the Crown closed its case.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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