BY DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
A WOMAN police officer testified in the Freeport Supreme Court that murder accused Paul Belizaire directed officers to a residence in the Holmes Rock area where he and his co-accused hid in bushes awaiting the arrival of their intended “target.”
Detective Corporal Gayshell Russell was one of the police officers called on Tuesday to give evidence in the trial of three men accused of a double murder and armed robbery that occurred on September 12, 2015, in Grand Bahama.
Belizaire, Devaughn Hall, and Kevin Dames are three of the five men initially arrested and charged with the murders of Barry and Sheena Johnson, and stealing the couple’s GMC truck and a set of keys.
Two of the co-defendant, Allan Alcime and Virgil Hall, turned Crown witnesses after accepting plea deals with the Office of the Attorney General, which later withdrew the murder charges against them. Both, however, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and are serving time in prison.
The husband and wife were shot to death at their triplex apartment in Deadman’s Reef, which borders the Holmes Rock community. They were discovered on the morning of September 13, 2015 by a tenant.
Det Corp 2920 Russell, attached to the Criminal Records Office, was with several officers at the Eight Mile Rock Police Station at 5.07pm on September 18, 2015, to collect Belizaire to accompany them on inquiries.
Det Russell recorded the event on a Sony video camcorder. She said that Detective 772 Johnson cautioned Belizaire in her presence at the Eight Mile Rock Police Station before they left on inquiries.
Belizaire directed them to a residence in Holmes Rock area, she said.
“He pointed to a bushy area where he and other males awaited their target,” Det Russell testified.
The witness also told the court that Belizaire directed them to a dirt road off the Warren Levarity Highway.
Officer Russell, who identified Belizaire in court, said that the accused then pointed to a bushy area where they had parked a truck and discarded a set of keys.
They went back to the EMR Police Station with Belizaire and later proceeded with the accused to the Central Detective Unit in Freeport where he was left in the custody of the officers.
Det Russell went to the Information Department at Police Headquarters, where she handed over the recorded tapes to Inspector Laing, who handed her a DVD of the recording. She placed her signature on the DVD, and burned a copy of it, and secured them for safekeeping.
The witness said that on September 25, while at CRO she received certain information from ASP Dames and proceeded to the parking lot of the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre, where she photographed a 2002 Nissan Maxima with licence plate number 47845.
She returned to CRO where she viewed the images taken with a digital camera on a computer and downloaded the images to a compact disc and put her signature on it.
In earlier court evidence by Crown witnesses Allan Alcime and Virgil Hall, the court heard that co-defendant Dames, the driver of a Nissan Maxima car, dropped them off in the Holmes Rock area on the night of the murders.
The DVD video recording was entered as evidence, despite objections raised by Belizaire’s attorney Geoffrey Farquharson. The prosecution also attempted to enter a transcription of the DVD video recording as evidence, but Justice Estelle Gray-Evans would not allow it based on the objection raised by Mr Farquharson concerning its inadmissibility.
Also testifying was Dwight Cartwright, human resources manager of Freeport Container Port.
Mr Cartwright, who has been employed at the container port for the past ten years, said a handheld radio found by police, was the one assigned to the deceased Barry Johnson, who was a supervisor at the container port.
After identifying the radio to police, he placed his initials on it which he also identified in court. He said the hand-held radio was a Motorola Pro1950 Elite.
The radio was discovered in bushes, off a dirt road where the GMC truck and a set of keys, which belonged to the Johnsons, were found by police.
According to earlier testimony by Alcime and Virgil Hall, the foursome – Belizaire, Alcime, Devaughn Hall, and Virgil Hall – took the couple’s truck and fled the murder scene.
The trial was adjourned to Thursday at 2.30pm in the Supreme Court.