By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A JURY hearing evidence in the Donna Vasyli murder trial was shown a 20-minute video of a bloody crime scene at a home in the Old Fort Bay community that police were alerted to earlier in the year.
The 12 jurors were empanelled on Monday to hear evidence in the murder trial of the 55-year-old Australian widow who denies fatally stabbing her millionaire podiatrist husband, Philip Vasyli, at their home on Ocean Drive on March 24.
Vasyli, who is on $200,000 bail, has retained veteran lawyers, Elliot Lockhart, QC and Murrio Ducille.
The prosecution’s team is led by Acting Director and Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Garvin Gaskin and Neil Braithwaite respectively.
Mr Gaskin yesterday, in his opening address to the jury, said that it was the Crown’s contention that only Ms Vasyli was home at the time with the victim “and we say the accused stabbed her husband.”
“We say there’s no evidence of an intrusion or evidence of an intruder,” Mr Gaskin added.
The submissions led to a strong objection from Mr Ducille who countered: “There is no evidence that we have that she was home.”
The Crown’s first witness was police crime scene investigator, Inspector Alfred Dean.
Insp Dean testified that he videotaped the crime scene footage of a home in Old Fort Bay that was entered into evidence yesterday.
Two of the tapes were shown to the jury by a television monitor in court.
The video footage began with police walking up the stone driveway of a compound with multiple properties. The cameraman makes a left turn onto a stone/grass pathway before turning left again onto an outdoor dining patio.
It is in this area the detective notes bloodstains on the beige tile floor of the patio and a blood stained, black handled knife on a wooden patio table. The ceiling of the patio as well as a glass door giving entrance to the kitchen had blood splatter.
The video showed more blood stains on the floor with foot prints while on the kitchen counter, an uneaten slice of bread with peanut butter can be seen on a plate near two bloodied cigarette boxes.
The footage then zoomed in on the body of a deceased male, clad in a white shirt and navy shorts, lying face down in a pool of blood.
The investigator followed trails of blood to a bed and bathroom on the lower floor as well upstairs where blood could be found in bathroom bowls, and on pillowcases and gauze in the master bedroom.
The blood trail led to a side staircase down to the ground floor, giving another angle of the deceased male.
In cross-examination, Mr Lockhart asked the officer if he agreed that there was no fence preventing access to the property by the seaside.
The officer said yes.
The next witness, Detective Gardell Rolle, testified that on March 27, he went to the Rand Lab of Princess Margaret Hospital where he proceeded to photograph a deceased male before pathologist Dr Caryn Sands performed an autopsy.
The officer said Dr Sands pointed out to him a “wound to the upper left shoulder just below the neck an abrasions (cuts) to the back.”
Several samples were collected from the male including fingernail clippings, a urine sample and clothing that were sealed in containers and handed over to Tiffany Culmer at the police forensics lab.
The defence asked no questions of this witness.
Another witness, Katie Kemp, the victim’s niece, said she went to the morgue to identify her uncle but could not recall the exact date this happened.
Cassius Fowler, assistant head of security for the gated community, was called to the stand next and told Mr Braithwaite that the community was under “24 hour security.”
The prosecutor asked if there were any other ways to access the community other than the front entrance.
Mr Fowler said there was a canal but it was not easily accessible and under security.
As for the beach, he said there were two guards stationed there for 12 hours between 6pm and 6am everyday.
“Did you go to work on Tuesday, March 24?” the prosecutor asked.
Mr Fowler said he did.
“When I arrived, I had to relieve one of my corporals,” the witness said. “Around 7.25am I believe it was, I had a resident come to me.”
“As a result of this, what did you do?” the prosecutor then asked.
Mr Fowler said he waited for police to arrive and instructed them to go to the Vasyli residence.
The witness said he made a report and contacted the Lyford Cay Police Station.
In cross-examination, Mr Ducille asked the security officer if he “worked on the beach side that night.”
“No, sir, I did not,” Mr Fowler said.
“There (are) quite a lot of residents on the beach, no?” Mr Ducille asked. “Yes,” replied Mr Fowler.
Mr Ducille suggested to the guard, “There’s nothing really to prevent anyone gaining entry to those residents from the beach.”
However the witness said security is posted there.
Mr Ducille asked the witness if he had “ever been to the beachside” of the Vasyli residence.
After a few moments of back and forth, Mr Fowler said: “I’ve been on the beach side, but I forgot which house is which.”
The case resumes today at 10.30am.