By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE lead investigator into the murder of prominent businessman Kurt McCartney dismissed a lawyer’s suggestion yesterday that his investigation into the crime “was very sloppy”.
This was put to lead investigator Inspector William Hart by attorney Romona Farquharson-Seymour after he admitted that he did not verify certain details of an anonymous witness’ information to police concerning the events leading to McCartney’s death on October 24, 2013.
Thorne Edwards, Okell Farrington, Sumya Ingraham and Lyndera Curry are on trial for McCartney’s murder and armed robbery at Gambier Village. They have denied the allegations.
Businessman and community activist Terry Delancy is on trial for being an accessory to the murder after the fact. He also denied the allegation.
It is alleged that Edwards shot McCartney in the face after he became involved in an argument between Curry and McCartney. McCartney was crushed when Farrington, Ingraham and Curry allegedly rolled over his body as they fled the scene in the victim’s Hummer.
Ingraham, Curry, Edwards and Farrington are respectively represented by Ms Farquharson-Seymour, Sonia Timothy, Terrel Butler and Philip Hilton.
Delancy is represented by Ian Cargill. Roger Thompson is prosecuting the case.
In yesterday’s proceedings before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs, Ms Farquharson-Seymour cross-examined Inspector Hart who had previously dismissed suggestions from other defence counsel that witness “AB” was the likely shooter that ill-fated evening.
“Are you familiar with the four standing orders of the police force for investigations?” Ingraham’s lawyer asked. The investigator said he was.
“Then you would know the procedure governing identification in an investigation, correct?” the lawyer asked. Inspector Hart said yes.
“And in accordance with your general orders, you ought to have informed Sumya Ingraham that she was identified,” the lawyer put to the witness.
Inspector Hart said doing so would have revealed the identity of witness “AB.”
“In fact, if she was identified, you should’ve given her the option to partake in an identification parade,” the lawyer said. The officer disagreed.
Mrs Farquharson-Seymour asked him to look over his report on the investigation. Inspector Hart admitted that there was no mention of Ingraham being identified.
“Did you check Road Traffic to see if any driver’s license or permit was issued to Sumya Ingraham?” the lawyer probed.
“No I didn’t,” Inspector Hart said.
The lawyer asked the investigator if he was aware of a statement given to police from another witness to the fatal shooting in Gambier Village being on the file police turned over to the Office of the Attorney General.
Inspector Hart said he was not sure, as there were a number of statements made.
“I suggest to you that you didn’t do a thorough investigation,” Mrs Farquharson-Seymour said.
“That’s your opinion,” the witness said.
“You accept it or not?” the lawyer asked.
“I don’t,” Insp Hart said.
The officer was asked if he took a blood sample from witness “AB”. Insp Hart said over the course of the investigation a blood sample was taken.
Insp Hart also said that Ingraham voluntarily gave a blood sample for DNA analysis.
“Did you as investigating officer follow up to see if there were any results?” the lawyer asked.
“Those results go to the AG’s Office,” the witness said.
He admitted, however, that there was no forensic evidence connecting Ingraham to the crime scene.
“All you have are the words, convincing words you say, of ‘AB,’” Ms Farquharson-Seymour said.
“No I have footage,” the investigator said, adding under questioning that this footage was not on file.
“Because it’s a recent fabrication,” the lawyer said, a charge that the officer denied.
“I suggest you performed a very sloppy investigation,” Ms Farquharson-Seymour said.
She added: “Twisted Lime has surveillance footage. Did you get footage from them with respect to AB’s story?”
“The person at Twisted Lime told me the cameras weren’t working,” the senior officer said.
He also said he did not speak with females from Nebraska to verify “AB’s” story that he was at the establishment with them prior to being contacted by one of the accused for a ride to Gambier.
Insp Hart was asked if he had checked “AB’s” background and criminal history. He said he only checked the witness’ background.
The lawyer suggested that if he had, he would have known that “AB” was in and out or prison since 1996.
“Our system doesn’t allow us to see convictions,” the witness answered. He did concede that the Criminal Records Office is next door to the Central Detective Unit.
Insp Hart was asked if any call records had been obtained from BTC concerning the phone of the deceased. The investigator said yes.
Ms Timothy, Curry’s lawyer, asked if there was evidence of contact between her client and the deceased. Insp Hart said no.
Delancy’s lawyer, Ian Cargill, asked for the witness to be shown the report of firearms examiner ASP Earl Thompson and suggested to the investigator that the weapon handed over to the police by his client at a crime symposium nine days after the shooting could not be the weapon police allege was used in McCartney’s killing if he was relying on ASP Thompson’s report.
The trial resumes today at 10.30am.