By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A JURY heard yesterday that a man allegedly confessed to his relatives that he fatally stabbed a banker who hired him to do maintenance work at his apartment for an upcoming holiday gathering when the victim allegedly made a sexual advance at him.
Lamar Albury, 26, maintained his “not guilty” plea to the murder charge he faces before Senior Justice Vera Watkins concerning the December 2015 death of Devince Smith.
Smith’s partially decomposed body was found shortly after 2.30pm on December 21, 2015 at his St Alban’s Drive apartment.
Police were alerted to the apartment after relatives, who had not heard from the victim, went to his home and found him dead in the living room.
Smith was a sports coach and was employed at Pictet Bank & Trust Ltd. He was also a former president of the New Providence Volleyball Association.
It is alleged that Albury murdered Smith sometime between December 19 and 21, of 2015.
He has retained attorney Michael Hanna to represent him against the allegation while Cordell Frazier and Anya Allen are prosecuting the case for the Crown.
In yesterday’s opening address to the jury, Ms Frazier told the 12-member panel: “You’re not here to judge anyone’s personal lifestyle.”
“Your task is to determine whether or not the offence of murder occurred,” she stressed.
The prosecutor proceeded to call the accused’s brother, Leroy Albury Jr, to the witness stand.
“Do you know Lamar Albury?” the prosecutor asked.
“That’s my brother,” the witness said.
“What if anything happened on Wednesday, December 30, 2015?” Ms Frazier then asked.
“I was at work. I received a phone call from my brother. He told me he’d gotten himself in a jam and that he needed to see me,” the witness said.
The witness also said he picked his brother up from the Chippingham area and they proceeded to have a conversation.
“He told me a few days prior that Devince Smith was having a get-together for Christmas and wanted him to do some work to fix-up the place,” Leroy Albury recalled.
The witness said his brother claimed that while at the victim’s residence, Smith sent him downstairs to get a beer and when he returned, Smith allegedly “was laying on the bed watching something on his laptop.”
“My brother said Smith showed him what he was watching and he (Lamar) said he was shocked,” the court heard.
The witness said his brother alleged that Smith “reached out to grab his privates” and his brother’s resistance led to a fight.
“He said during the fight, he stabbed him a few times. The fight started in the bedroom, (then) into the hallway and down the stairs,” the witness claimed.
Mr Hanna asked the witness if he knew his brother well. The witness said he did.
“Do you know him to be a homosexual?” the attorney asked.
“No, sir,” the witness said, adding that his brother has a child.
“Can you tell the court how your brother appeared to you when you saw him?” Mr Hanna asked.
“He was spaced out. I’ve never seen him like that before,” the witness said.
“Did he appear frightened or confused?” Mr Hanna asked. The witness said his brother seemed “disoriented.”
Their father, Leroy Albury Sr, was called to the witness stand next and the Ministry of Works employee said that on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 he had a conversation with Lamar Albury who came and knocked on his room door.
“He said ‘Daddy, I killed a man,’” the accused’s father said.
“He said he went to do a job for a gentleman who explained what he wanted him to do,” the witness claimed.
“He went downstairs to get the beer for the gentleman and when he came back up, he saw the gentleman in the sheet looking at porn. The gentleman tried to reach for his privates. They ended up scuffling and he stabbed him,” the father added.
“I told him ‘you need to turn yourself in,’” the jury heard.
Mr Hanna asked the accused’s father if he knew his son well.
“I’d like to believe I do. He has a child. He’s a hardworking young man,” the witness answered.
“You teach him the way of the Bible?” the defence lawyer asked. The witness said he did.
“Are you disappointed that you just had to tell the court what you did?” Hanna asked. The witness said yes.
“Do you know your son to be a sissy or gay?” the accused lawyer asked.
“No, sir,” the jury heard.
The trial resumes today at 2pm.