By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A JURY yesterday heard a girlfriend’s account to police of how her boyfriend’s shoving match with Adonai Wilson escalated a day later when the 18-year-old murder accused allegedly handed his cousin a knife that had been in his pocket before Wilson was stabbed.
The 12-member panel hearing evidence relating to the December 9, 2015 killing of 16-year-old Wilson returned to the Supreme Court having been excused on Friday for lengthy legal discussions between the Crown and defence counsel.
When proceedings continued at 2pm yesterday against the 18-year-old accused, whose identity has been withheld because he was charged as a juvenile, Justice Bernard Turner read into evidence a statement given to police by a teen girl who prosecutors have been unable to bring to court to give sworn testimony.
The judge had allowed prosecutor Kristan Stubbs’ application for an investigator to read the unavailable witness’ statement into the record.
An amendment to the Evidence Act in 2012 gave judges the discretion to allow the statements of witnesses who are dead, cannot be found, or are too sick to testify into evidence.
However, this action means that the 18-year-old accused, and his lawyer Murrio Ducille, are unable to cross-examine the teen to verify the contents of the statement.
Police had taken the statement from the teen girl the day of the fatal stabbing.
The girl allegedly identified herself to police as a student of Doris Johnson Senior High School and the 18-year-old’s girlfriend.
“I have been in a relationship with him for the past three months,” the statement began.
“There is a male student by the name of Adonai Wilson who is also in the 12th grade at Doris Johnson. He is friends with him (the accused). On Tuesday, December 8, 2015 around 10.30am while on a break time at school, I witnessed both males get into a pushing match. It looked like they were going to get into a fight because I saw him (the accused) push Adonai but Adonai keep saying to him ‘push me again, push me again I ain’t no punk.’
“Adonai’s girlfriend, who is also a 12th grade student at Doris Johnson, stood between them to separate the fight. The school bell rang and that stopped the fight from starting because everyone went back to class. I assumed everything was over until today Wednesday, December 9, 2015. It was sometime after 12.30pm today we finished exams and attended a 12th grade meeting in the pavilion at the back of the school.”
The teen told police she was unsure of what time the meeting ended but after it concluded, she met up with a friend and began walking towards Prince Charles Drive.
“I saw him (the accused) walking in front of me with a few of his friends. I called him to get him to stop, which he did. As I got close to him, I walked down from the sidewalk into the road and I bumped into his right side. I felt a sharp poke to my right leg and it came from his (the accused’s) pants pocket. I looked at his right pants pocket and I saw a silver blade poking out of his pocket,” the girl’s statement said.
“I asked him why he had this knife in his pocket and what he was going to do with it. He pulled the knife out of his pocket and I saw that it was a black handle, long silver blade kitchen knife in his hand. He turned the knife over and put it back in his pocket this time with the black handle hanging out.”
The accused allegedly told her: “These ‘n*’ done gang my cousin, I ain’t ga let them gang my cousin.”
They then walked to Popeyes restaurant but found it to be overcrowded and went east to catch a bus to go to Wendy’s.
On the way to their new destination, the accused met up with his 17-year-old cousin who was an 11th grade student at their school.
The accused, she told police, handed his cousin the knife when they both then went to opposite sides of the street.
She said shortly afterwards she noticed her boyfriend, the accused, and Adonai “throwing punches at each other but it appeared (the accused) was losing.”
“They probably weren’t fighting for a minute when I saw (his cousin) come running towards them with the same silver blade black handle knife (the accused) had given him in his hands. I watched as (the cousin) raise the knife and he stabbed at Adonai. Then another male I know who used to attend Doris Johnson ran up and he also began punching at Adonai.”
“At this time, I saw (the cousin) raise the knife again and this time as he stabbed at Adonai, he stabbed him to his back,” the jury heard.
The teen girl told police that she watched the victim run across the road to Blanco Bleach but did not know where the accused and his cousin went.
When she crossed the road as well, she saw Wilson on the ground bleeding heavily.
She and a group of persons remained there until police came.
The jury heard the statement of another female student whose tale of December 9, 2015 began at Popeyes Restaurant.
The girl, who identified herself to police as a friend of the then girlfriend of the accused, said the line at the fast-food joint was long and the three left, heading east.
The accused walked ahead with a group of persons while she and his girlfriend followed behind.
She noticed a commotion at the Superwash laundromat and noticed a fight between the accused and Wilson.
She ran towards the area where they were fighting and saw a teen, who she witnessed being given a knife by the accused when they were walking from Popeyes, run to and stab Wilson twice in the back before fleeing towards Fox Hill.
She then saw Wilson run across the street towards Blanco Bleach where he collapsed, while his friends followed behind.
The jury heard that the teen girl called 911 and while they waited for medical help to arrive, a friend of Wilson called out to the bleeding teen with no response.
Last Thursday, two teens – aged 17 and 15 – who were also on trial for the murder of Wilson, changed their pleas.
The 17-year-old pleaded not guilty to murder, but admitted guilt to the lesser charge of manslaughter. He received a sentence of nine years after the judge took into account his time spent on remand and the fact that he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Meanwhile, the 15-year-old pleaded not guilty to murder, but admitted to attempting to cause harm. He was given a sentence of six months to be served at the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys.
The 18-year-old accused, who remains on trial, maintains he did not intentionally or unlawfully cause Wilson’s death.