By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A pathologist told jurors hearing evidence in a trial into the murder of a prominent businessman yesterday that the victim not only died of a gunshot wound to the head but significant blunt force trauma to most parts of his body.
Dr Caryn Sands testified about the autopsy she performed on Kurt McCartney within hours of his death on October 24, 2013.
Concerning the bullet wound, Dr Sands said the bullet entered from the left side and exited the back of the head as no bullet or fragments were recovered from that examined area. She added that there was no evidence of close range fire that she could find during the autopsy.
Of his many injuries to the rest of his body, including swelling and cuts to the face and bleeding in his chest cavity, the doctor also noted that the victim had broken ribs that tore into his lungs, a fractured spine and a fractured hip bone.
Prosecutor Roger Thompson asked the pathologist if, given her experience and knowledge, the blunt force injuries could have been caused from a vehicle.
Dr Sands said yes.
The victim, the brother of Democratic National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney, was killed in Gambier Village two years ago. Police discovered his Hummer a few hours after his death, east of Traveller’s Rest restaurant.
Lyndera Curry, 21, Sumya Ingraham, 26, Thorne Edwards, 23, and Okell Farrington, 31, were charged in November 2013 in connection with the armed robbery and murder of the victim.
A fifth person, Terry Delancy, the owner of Virgo Car Rental, was charged with being an accessory after the fact and is on $15,000 bail. All five deny involvement in the killing.
Ian Cargill is representing Delancy while Ingraham, Curry, Edwards and Farrington are respectively represented by Romona Farquharson-Seymour, Sonia Timothy, Terrel Butler and Philip Hilton.
Sophia Pinder-Moss is assisting Mr Thompson in prosecuting.
Prior to Dr Sands giving her evidence, the prosecution called a number of police witnesses who gave evidence concerning the suspected weapon used in the victim’s killing.
The jury heard first from Sgt Victoria Dames who said that on November 2, 2013, she was at the police force’s Firearms Tracing and Investigation Unit when she received a black 9MM pistol from Cpl 2530 Dawkins along with a magazine clip.
She said she handed these items over to Cpl 405 Miller.
Delancy’s lawyer, Mr Cargill, asked Sgt Dames if she was aware of Operation Cease Fire.
“I know of it. That was being held with reference to bringing firearms off the street,” the witness answered.
“What do you mean?” the lawyer probed.
“Exactly as I stated,” the witness answered.
“In conjunction with Urban Renewal?” Mr Cargill said. The witness said she could not say.
“Do you know if the firearm (in question) was a part of that operation?” the lawyer asked.
“The officer who handed it to me was a part of that unit,” Sgt Dames said.
Mr Cargill suggested to the witness that community activist Carlos Reid hosted Operation Cease Fire at the St Bede’s Church that day. The witness agreed with the suggestion.
Constable Jason Gray testified next that on the same day, a fellow officer handed over to him a sealed bag containing a firearm exhibit which he handed over to Constable 3259 Albury three days later.
Cpl Theo Dawkins, of the Kemp Road Urban Renewal unit, was called next and told the prosecutor that on November 2, 2013 he was at a crime symposium being held at St Bede’s.
“I saw Terry Delancy hand over one black pistol to Inspector Smith who then gave me certain instructions. I took the firearm to CDU and handed it over to Cpl Dames,” the court heard.
Mr Cargill asked the witness if Delancy, Mr Reid and Eric Fox were giving presentations on crime at the symposium. The witness said yes.
“Wasn’t it Mr (Carlos) Reid who handed the firearm and clip to Inspector Smith?” the lawyer said. Cpl Dawkins said no.
“I suggest Delancy handed it to Reid who handed it to Smith,” the lawyer then said.
“I disagree,” the witness answered.
“There’s a picture of this firearm being handed over to the police?” Mr Cargill then asked. The witness said yes.
“Nobody was placed under arrest though?” the lawyer probed. The witness said no.
“Didn’t the Royal Bahamas Police Force have amnesty periods for handing firearms in?” the lawyer asked.
“In the past, yes,” Cpl Dawkins said.
“Wasn’t the symposium an attempt to assist in dealing with crime?” the lawyer asked. The witness again said yes.
“And part of that was taking firearms off the street,” the lawyer suggested.
“I wouldn’t say that,” the witness answered.
The witness told the court that the picture he took of the gun being turned over was published in a weekly report for the commissioner of police.
“And then the man (Delancy) got locked up for being a good citizen?” Mr Cargill asked.
Cpl Dawkins said on past experience, the arrest would not have happened, admitting that he would not have arrested Delancy.
“Mr Delancy and Mr Reid worked closely with Urban Renewal?” the lawyer asked. The witness said yes and also agreed to the subsequent suggestion that Delancy was contracted by the government to clear down decrepit buildings that potentially harboured criminals and illegal activity.
“Mr Delancy wasn’t arrested when these pictures were circulated?” the lawyer asked.
“No,” Cpl Dawkins answered.
In re-examination, Mr Thompson asked the witness if Delancy said where he got the firearm from.
“No. He just said it was turned in to him,” the witness answered.
Senior Firearms Technician Tereah Albury also gave evidence yesterday.
The trial resumes today before Acting Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs.