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Lawyer A No-Show - Because He Was Still Behind Bars

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

GEOFFREY Farquharson’s expected Supreme Court appearance yesterday for the continuation of his client’s murder trial was not to be.

Justice Bernard Turner had delayed the continuation of Christopher Butler’s case because the accused still wished to be defended by Mr Farquharson.

The case had been adjourned with the view that Mr Farquharson would possibly return by the adjourned date after serving a little more than two-thirds of his 14-day sentence for contempt of court. However, the lawyer is still at Her Majesty’s Prison, the court confirmed yesterday.

The sentence was an alternative punishment for his behaviour during last year’s trial into the murder of Marco Archer during which his client, Kofhe Goodman, was convicted and eventually sentenced to death.

Mr Farquharson was found in contempt of court on May 22 and the $2,000 fine was imposed on June 5. Before he was arrested on June 26, at the end of his 21-day deadline to pay his fine, his request to the court to delay the commencement of his sentence was denied notwithstanding that he was representing Butler in an ongoing Supreme Court trial. The contempt ruling is being contested.

Days after Farquharson’s sentencing, Butler told Justice Bernard Turner that he still wanted to be represented by Farquharson. Butler is denying a murder charge he faces for the June 4, 2013 shooting death of Rapeson Jules, who was shot and killed by two men while visiting a friend off Lazaretta Road.

His case was adjourned to yesterday. However, Justice Turner told Butler that “we have been trying to get in contact with Mr Farquharson.”

“The number we have for him, the voicemail is saying that the message box is full and unable to accept messages,” the judge said, adding that there was no known physical address for the lawyer.

Justice Turner said he would adjourn the matter to 2.30pm, which would allow the defendant to also attempt to reach his lawyer.

In the afternoon session, the judge revealed – “in a euphemistic way” – that Farquharson was still in prison.

“Mr Butler, it has been brought to my attention that your attorney is not here because he is elsewhere. He’s not able to appear in this court as yet,” Justice Turner said, adding that by Friday “your attorney should be available.”

Butler asked the judge that the matter be stood down “until my attorney’s sentence is completed”.

Before adjourning, the judge told the jury that Farquharson’s absence from the proceedings were not by choice and warned that the events surrounding the lawyer’s circumstances were not to be held against his client.

The case is expected to resume on Friday.

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