By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SECOND relative of murder victim Marco Archer was accused of covering up the “true story” of what happened to the boy who was reported missing and found dead days later.
Tanzia Archer-Humes appeared in Supreme Court yesterday morning to give her evidence about September 23, 2011, the day her brother, a sixth grader of Columbus Primary School, disappeared.
Mrs Humes told the court that on the evening in question, she was on her way home to Sunshine Park when she was contacted by her mother and given information that led her to her mother’s home on Brougham Street, where her brother lived. Nor was he at his sister, Valkeisha Archer’s home on Claridge Road, where he sometimes visited over the weekend.
After searching areas like Brougham Street, Peter Street, Fowler Street where her brother would frequent, with no success, she and her family went to report Marco missing while giving information to the police as it came to them during their continued search for him.
However, while under cross-examination by lawyer Geoffrey Farquharson, it was suggested that not only did she cause three men to be arrested that night, but she was coming to the court to cover for her sister, Valkeisha.
Mrs Humes disagreed with both suggestions.
Mr Farquharson’s client, Kofhe Goodman, sat in the prisoner’s dock listening to the testimony.
Murder charge and First Sister’s testimony
Goodman, 37, of Yorkshire Drive, faces a murder charge which he denies. It is claimed that between September 23 and 28 of 2011, he caused the death of Marco Archer, who disappeared from Brougham Street and was found dead days later.
On Monday, Valkeisha Archer testified that on September 23, 2011, her brother Marco came to her Claridge Road home around 4pm where he changed his clothes, used the rest room and then told her goodbye for the last time before leaving for Brougham Street, where he lived.
She told prosecutor Neil Braithwaite that the family’s efforts to find Marco were unsuccessful.
However, defence attorney Geoffrey Farquharson suggested to the prosecution’s witness that she was trying to cover up the “true story” of what happened on that day.
The witness answered that she would never do such a thing.
“I put it you that something terrible happened at your house to this child,” the attorney suggested.
“Never that,” the sister exclaimed. “It’s not true. Nothing could ever happen to Marco at my house.”
She also denied his next suggestion – that she told her sister, Tanzia, that she hadn’t see Marco.
“I never told that to my sister because I didn’t speak with my sister. I spoke to my mother,” she said.
The witness told Mr Braithwaite she was on her way home to Sunshine Park when she received “some information” from her mother on answering her phone call.
“I re-routed and went to my mother’s residence,” she said before adding that she and her mother then went to Claridge Road to her sister’s home.
Her mother went inside and came back out, and the two left to return to Brougham Street where Marco lived. They searched there, on Fowler and Peter Streets, but to no avail.
“We walked around, checked, asked neighbours if they saw my brother,” she said. After informing family members about the missing child, they went to the police station.
“Which police station did you go to ma’am?” the prosecutor asked.
“Southern Police Station,” the witness answered.
Archer-Humes and her mother returned to Brougham Street to resume their search when they came in contact with a neighbour, “Terrance,” who gave her “some information.”
The witness said they went to the police station with this information, though Terrance himself did not want to relay the information to the police. From the police station, they went to Peter Street to the residence of a man named “John.”
“We walked around the house calling Marco’s name,” she said. Persons coming out of the house spoke to them and they returned to the police station.
They continued their routine of search and reporting information they received to the police on two more occasions.
“Did you ever find Marco?” Mr Braithwaite asked.
“No,” Mrs Archer-Humes replied.
They were allowed to file a “missing” report at 2am on September 24, the witness said. However, they did not end their search there, continuing throughout that weekend and following Monday putting up flyers and asking people if they knew anything.
She concluded her examination-in-chief by telling of a tip that led her to search T A Thompson Junior high school, but Marco was not there either.
Accusations of Abetting in a ‘Cover Up’
In cross-examination, Mr Farquharson asked the witness if it was correct to say that she never gave a statement to police until September 26, 2011.
“Yes,” Archer-Humes answered.
The lawyer suggested to the witness that she caused “John” to be arrested.
“I gave police information that I received,” the witness answered, also denying the next suggestion that he was arrested in the street.
“I didn’t see police arrest John,” she said, adding that she didn’t see it, but was informed of it.
“He was arrested for the disappearance of Marco,” the lawyer suggested.
“Based on the information I got, I gave it to the police and I did not find Marco.”
“You received information about a rasta man named Bell,” the lawyer asked. When the witness said yes, the lawyer asked if she went to his home and questioned him.
“I showed him a photo, yes,” the witness answered.
“And you had him be arrested,” the lawyer suggested. The witness replied that she only gave police information she received.
The lawyer suggested that she also did the same for her mother’s landlord. She reiterated her previous answers. She admitted that Marco was never found at Bell’s residence, nor at the school where the landlord worked.
Regarding the Claridge Road home where Valkeisha resided, and Marco had reported before leaving for Brougham Street, the lawyer suggested that she asked the sister if Marco had been there.
“No I didn’t,” the witness said.
“You told police Valkeisha said he wasn’t there,” the lawyer suggested.
“I told them the information that I received,” the witness answered.
Her statement was put to her and after reading it, she said that the word “back” was missing from the line.
“I put it to you that you’re coming here to lie to cover for your sister,” the lawyer suggested.
Archer-Humes denied the suggestion.
The trial resumes today before Justice Bernard Turner.
Garvin Gaskin, deputy director of public prosecutions, with assisting prosecutors Mr Braithwaite and Darrell Taylor, represent the Crown.
Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.
Sign in to comment
Or login with: