By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SUPREME Court jury heard yesterday that a man’s dead body was found inside a barrel left in bushes off a track road in Eleuthera.
The evidence was heard in the murder trial of 27-year-old John Deieur, who is accused of killing his 65-year-old stepfather, Alice Saintilma, in 2011.
A witness told the court yesterday that he initially thought a foul odour coming from the barrel was that of a dead dog.
Gordon Kemp, of Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, testified that on January 19, 2011, the third day in which he observed this container, he noticed an odour coming from the area of the barrel.
As in previous days, however, he thought nothing of it because the track road in that settlement was often used to dump garbage and believed the smell to be from “a dead dog.”
As Mr Kemp gave his testimony, Deieur sat in the prisoner’s dock listening to his evidence with the help of an interpreter. Deieur is also of Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera.
The accused is alleged to have intentionally and by means of unlawful harm caused the death of Saintilma between January 15 and 19, 2011.
He is defended by Romona Farquharson-Seymour and Candice Hepburn. Viola Barnett and Patrick Sweeting prosecute the case.
Before Mr Kemp gave evidence, the jury heard the testimony of Sgt Julian Newbold, a crime scene investigator stationed at the Gregory Town police station. Sgt Newbold testified that on January 19, 2011, he received information that led him to the scene of a suspected murder in Hatchet Bay around midday.
After speaking with a superior officer, he was pointed to a blue barrel in bushes that he noted was 19 feet from the edge of the unpaved road.
Inside the barrel, he said, was the body of a dark male in a crouched position.
The officer further observed that the body was swollen and partially decomposed around the head and neck with the presence of cuts on the legs.
Sgt Newbold said he collected swab samples from the barrel for forensic analysis and also photographed the scene.
Mrs Farquharson-Seymour asked the officer if he collected any samples from the dead man’s house that was photographed as a part of the crime scene.
The crime scene investigator said he “never actually” visited the home that he was told had belonged to the deceased.
Sgt Newbold said he had only photographed the house. Sgt Newbold also could not recall to whom he submitted the samples and noted that this information was not his report filed on January 20, 2011 because the samples were submitted for analysis up to a week later.
When Mr Kemp was questioned by the prosecution, he said that on the morning of January 19, 2011, while doing some work in his back yard, he noticed Haitian men approaching the bushes where the blue container was.
The witness said he did the same, where he observed one of the men crying before they left. Mr Kemp said he too returned to what he was doing before he later saw police officers.
In cross-examination, Mrs Farquharson-Seymour asked the witness if he approached the barrel in the times that he noticed it. Kemp said he did not.
The trial will continue before Justice Vera Watkins on August 11.