0

Judge To Give Directions To Trial Jury

By RASHAD ROLLE

JUSTICE Bernard Turner will give further directions to the jury in the Kofhe Goodman murder trial today after choosing to postpone the trial yesterday.

On Wednesday lawyers made their closing submissions in the trial that has now entered its fifth month.

It is alleged that between September 23 and September 28, 2011, Kofhe Goodman, 37, killed 11-year-old Marco Archer of Brougham Street.

Justice Bernard Turner started to give directions to the jury concerning the matter yesterday.

He encouraged the jury to ignore what they might have heard or read about the case outside the courts. “You alone are judges of the facts in this matter,” he said.

He added: “Do not allow sympathy or prejudice for the accused, the deceased or the family” to sway you.

Justice Turner said the jury must not consider references made during the trial about previous offences allegedly committed by Goodman.

“None of those matters can be used as evidence to suggest that he has a propensity for criminal conduct,” he said, adding: “The defendant is on trial for murder and murder only. The existence of any other criminal matter is not a concern of yours.”

When the justice told jurors to overlook a portion of the court’s previous proceedings when the defence allegedly told a witness, officer Christopher Wright, that cocaine, firearm and cash were found in Goodman’s car, Goodman’s attorney, Geoffrey Farquharson, interrupted the justice to scrutinize the justice’s statement.

He claimed he had already warned the court of its propensity to provide directions in favour of the prosecution, adding: “no such proposition was ever put to Christopher Wright.”

Later, the justice told jurors the prosecution’s evidence in the case was based on circumstantial evidence. He then detailed key elements of the prosecution’s argument.

The prosecution claims that from evidence brought in trial, Marco Archer, dressed in clothing his mother later identified, left his home for a shop and never returned.

The justice said the prosecution also claims that the body found in the back of Goodman’s condominium at Yorkshire Drive was that of Marco Archer.

He said the prosecution claims that a white garbage bag with clothing belonging to Marco Archer was identified by the family of the young boy and found in the front of the condominium where Goodman lives.

Another claim of the prosecution, he said, is that the clothing found in front of the condominium contained the DNA of the body allegedly found in the back of the condominium where Goodman lives and that Goodman’s own DNA was also found on the clothing.

Justice Turner noted that in response to this particular claim of the prosecution, the defence argues that the discovery of Goodman’s DNA on the clothing was “purely innocent” because it was found in the defendant’s own garbage. He recalled the testimonies of some expert witnesses called to the stand who said there was a possibility that the defendant’s DNA was transferred to the clothes of Marco Archer after Marco’s clothes came in contact with items in the garbage that belonged to the defendant.

In addition, Justice Turner addressed a prior claim of Mr Farquharson who, on Wednesday, said the prosecution was using the jury to kill Goodman. Justice Turner responded to that claim by informing the jury that sentencing is not part of their job.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment