By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE seven-year-old brother of a toddler who prosecutors allege was beaten to death testified yesterday that he saw his mother’s boyfriend hit the boy’s hand with a “frying pan” the day he died.
The visibly nervous child required photographic albums of the crime scene to assist his testimony in the Supreme Court concerning August 16, 2013, when he was at his Allen Drive home with his two-year-old brother Teon Morley and Trevor Carey.
Carey, 23, was the boyfriend of the boys’ mother before he was arraigned in August 2013 in connection with the beating death of the young child.
The child was found unresponsive in his home around 3pm with injuries to his body.
A police officer who testified yesterday told the court that he saw a dented frying pan at the home and bruises on the child’s face.
Carey, however, denies the murder charge he faces before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs and has retained attorney Lessiah Rolle to defend him.
Darell Taylor is prosecuting the case.
Teon’s older brother was called to the stand and was asked by Senior Justice Isaacs if he understood the importance of telling the truth as well as the difference between right and wrong.
“Yes, sir,” the boy, whose name has been withheld, said.
With the judge being satisfied by the boy’s answer, Ms Taylor was allowed to question him, beginning with the number of siblings he had.
The witness named his four siblings, including Teon.
“Do you know where Teon is?” Ms Taylor asked. The boy said, “Yes.”
“Where is Teon?” the prosecutor asked.
“In the graveyard,” the witness answered.
“Where’d you see him before he died?” the prosecutor asked.
“In the casket,” the boy said.
The prosecutor was granted permission for the witness to be given a photographic album of the crime scene.
The boy was first shown image number four with the assistance of the court clerk. The image, according to the boy, depicted his aunt and her boyfriend’s house where he and his mother and brother also lived.
“You played with Teon there?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” the witness answered.
He was asked if that was the place where he last saw his brother alive. He said yes.
“I saw brown stuff come out he nose and he mouth,” the boy added.
Photograph seven depicted the “front room” of the apartment while photos 12 and 13 showed the kitchen counter and a frying pan.
Ms Taylor asked the boy if he saw anything that occurred that day.
“I saw when Trevor beat Teon on his hand, that’s it,” the boy said.
“What he beat him with?” the prosecutor asked.
“The frying pan,” Teon’s sibling said.
“Who is Trevor that you speak of?” the prosecutor asked.
“That used to be my mommy boyfriend,” the boy said, adding that the man in question was at the house “plenty times.”
The boy confirmed that the man he spoke of was seated in the prisoner’s dock.
“Was there anyone else at home?” the prosecutor asked.
“Only me, Teon and Trevor,” the witness said.
“Was that the only time you saw Trevor hit Teon?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” the boy said.
Photograph 15, according the witness, depicted the refrigerator he stood behind when he saw the accused hit Teon with the frying pan.
The boy continued that Teon went into the room, depicted in photograph 25, and went to sleep.
Mr Rolle, in cross-examination, asked the boy for his father’s name. The boy answered “Gary.”
“Gary told you to come to court and say Trevor beat Teon, right?” the lawyer asked.
“No, sir,” the boy said in response to the suggestion.
“Who told you to do that?” the lawyer probed. The witness said: “Nobody.”
“Did anyone give you any food that day?” Mr Rolle asked. The boy said his mother but when further probed he admitted that the accused fed him and his brother that day.
“Trevor came there to watch you all,” the lawyer said. “Yes,” said the boy.
“He always watched you all, right?” Rolle asked. The boy said “yes”.
‘“You never saw him beat Teon with no frying pan right?” Rolle asked.
The witness dismissed the suggestion.
“Did your mommy tell you to come here and tell that to the court?” the lawyer further probed. The boy said no.
The lawyer asked the witness if he knew how the toddler ended up on the ground. The boy said his brother rolled off the bed.
“He must have hit his head when he fell, right?” the lawyer asked.
“Yes, sir,” the witness answered.
Before the child’s testimony, the 12-member jury heard the evidence of Central Detective Unit officer Inspector Marvin Cargill, who said that around 3.40pm on the day in question, he was called to a suspicious death at an apartment on Allen Drive, off Carmichael Road.
“I observed a leather belt on top of the refrigerator and a leather belt in the cupboard. I also observed a dented frying pan,” said Inspector Cargill.
The officer said he was then directed to a room where he “observed the body of a lifeless toddler, male.”
“His head was in a western direction and his feet facing east. He was clad in long denim jeans and (diapers). He was bareback,” the officer said, adding that he observed bruises to the left side of the toddler’s face.
Insp Cargill also said he saw clothing and sheets in the room with suspected blood on them. The detective said he photographed all of his observations and produced photographic albums of the scene. These were distributed to the jury.
When cross-examined by the accused’s attorney, Insp Cargill said he was aware of the clothing, sheets and frying pan being collected for forensic analysis, but could not speak to results.
He also said he could not speak to whether the apparent bruise on the child was an old injury.
Teon’s father Gary Morley was also called to the stand yesterday. He said that he identified his son at the morgue.
He said on August 16, Teon’s mother called him and told him what happened. When they met up, “she was telling me her boyfriend didn’t have nothing to do with it,” he said.
“I was trying to figure out why she tell me that,” Mr Morley said.
In cross-examination, Mr Rolle put to the Crown witness that he never visited his sons.
Mr Morley dismissed the suggestion, however, adding that the boys’ mother refused to bring both of his sons to him when it was time to see them.
“You’re aware Teon suffered from allergies from certain foods?” the lawyer asked.
Mr Morley said he was not.
The Crown also called Tracy Gibson, Teon’s aunt, to the witness stand.
The defence force officer said she arrived home from work around 2.30pm when she came across Trevor who asked her if she was going anywhere soon.
Ms Gibson said she told Trevor she would watch her nephews and he could leave.
It was after this that she walked into the room where her nephews were and saw Teon lying on the bed. She said she picked him up and his eyes were fluttering and he did not wake up.
She said she placed him back on the bed and left the room but returned shortly after when she heard her other nephew scream.
She contacted both her sister and called an ambulance after seeing her nephew on the ground with a substance coming from his mouth.
Ms Taylor asked the witness if she had ever hit Teon that day or any other time prior. Ms Gibson said she did not.
During his line of questioning, Mr Rolle suggested to the witness that she had in fact mistreated Teon in the past, but Ms Gibson denied it.
Mr Rolle asked the witness if she observed a bruise on the child’s face when she picked him up. Ms Gibson said she did not at first.
The trial resumes today.