By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SUPREME Court justice directed a jury to acquit a man yesterday who was accused of a fatal drive-by shooting.
Senior Justice Jon Isaacs explained to the 12-member jury hearing evidence in the trial of Desmond Wilson that he was directing them to do so because the court could not be satisfied that a pathologist performed an autopsy on Bradley Whittaker, the alleged victim.
At the start of the trial, Crown prosecutors alleged that Wilson killed Whittaker on October 23, 2011 with one shot on the night in question.
However, Dr Sands, a pathologist at the Princess Margaret Hospital, could not conclusively say if it was one or two shots that caused the death of Whittaker.
This is an element the Crown is required to verify in proving that a murder did in fact happen.
Whittaker was walking on Cordeaux Avenue around 7pm in the area of Amos Ferguson Street when he was approached by occupants of a black Honda Accord. One of the occupants shot Whittaker, who was taken to hospital in a private vehicle, where he later died.
While the Crown did not produce a weapon, spent gun shell casings, photographs of the deceased or the scene of the crime, they did call on eye witnesses who claimed to be present in the vicinity to the fatal shooting.
Frisco Williams testified that he was on the opposite side of the street when one of two males he saw walking was shot at by the occupants of the car. After the shooting, he allowed the other unharmed man to use his phone to contact police and told the police that a man he knew as “Plucky“ shot Whittaker.
Fedner St Louis also took the witness stand as one of the Crown’s main witnesses. He gave evidence that he was the driver of the black Honda Accord and claimed Wilson to be the shooter.
When cross-examined, however, he said no one forced him to follow the man who got shot and if he did not, he might still be alive.
St Louis did, however, deny that Wilson attempted to get out of the vehicle but he and another occupant, who was also not charged, refused to listen.
Felicia Sands, sister of the deceased, said she had gone to the morgue to identify her brother, but did not specify to which physician she identified her brother.
Dr Sands did not confirm the body she performed an autopsy on was identified.
Legal discussions were held on Monday in the absence of the jury. Yesterday morning, Senior Justice Isaacs made his acquittal direction to the jury and explained that the court could not be satisfied that the body on which Dr Sands performed the autopsy was Whittaker’s.
Krysta Mason-Smith represented Desmond Wilson.
Vernal Collie and Kristan Stubbs prosecuted the case.