Attorney questions evidence gathering


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE ninth day of the Marco Archer murder trial saw Kofhe Goodman’s attorney completing his cross-examination of a crime scene investigator who handled items collected from the scene where a body was found.


37-year-old Kofhe Goodman outside of court yesterday after the fourth witness testimony in the Marco Archer murder trial. Photo: Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff

Geoffrey Farquharson put a number of suggestions to Constable Denrea Johnson in court yesterday, her fifth day under cross-examination.

He suggested to her that in her handling of the evidence, she contaminated the items collected and the forensics lab when she went to dry them on September 28, 2011.

Constable Johnson disagreed with his suggestion as Goodman sat in the prisoner’s dock listening to the evidence.

Goodman, 37, of Yorkshire Drive, faces a murder charge which he denies. It is claimed that between September 23 and 28 of 2011, he intentionally and unlawfully caused the death of Marco Archer who disappeared from Brougham Street and was found dead days later.

The court has heard from Constable Johnson that on the day in question, September 28, 2011, she received information and instructions from a senior officer and proceeded to Yorkshire Street with colleagues.

There she received further instructions that led her to go to the rear of a five-unit condominium where a number of items were pointed out to her.

Johnson said she saw a suitcase that was on top of what appeared to be a naked human body, plastic underneath the suitcase and on top of the human remains, which were in a sheet bound at the ends and that garbage and debris were under the sheet.

The policewoman said that Sgt James Colebrooke untied the sheet and on closer inspection, to her, it appeared to be a male lying in a foetal position with buttocks exposed.

She was then led to a garbage storage area, she said, where she saw a bag on the ground near the second of five bins.

Opening the bag, she saw what appeared to be a black Bob Marley shirt, khaki pants, blue and yellow slippers and a pair of blue and yellow boxers.

Officer Johnson said she collected, signed and sealed the items which she carried to the police force’s forensic lab on October 3 for analysis.

Under cross-examination, she told a jury the collected items found behind a Yorkshire Street apartment were wet and needed to be dried before being submitting for forensic analysis. On September 28, 2011, she said she went to put the proper protocols in place before air drying the items in the force’s forensic lab and submitting them days later.

Yesterday, Mr Farquharson asked why she didn’t surrender the items to the lab on the day she dried them.

“It takes time for the items to be properly processed, packaged and to be delivered” she said.

“Ma’am, I want to put to you that these items were packaged on the scene,” the attorney said.

“Sir, I followed procedure,” she said.

“I suggest to you there is absolutely no reason at all why you could not have taken those items directly to the lab on Wednesday,” the attorney suggested.

“I don’t agree,” was her reply.

“The fact that you went to the lab is clear evidence they could’ve been taken on that day,” Mr Farquharson said.

“I disagree,” Johnson answered.

“I put it to you that the story that you tell about drying the items in the lab is false,” the attorney said.

“I disagree,” the constable said.

Mr Farquharson suggested to the officer that in her handling of the evidence, she contaminated them. Constable Johnson disagreed.

The prosecution did not re-examine her and the jury had no questions. The trial resumes today.


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