Lawyer Questions Missing Footage In Murder Case


Tribune Freeport Reporter


AFTER a month-long break, the trial of three young men accused of robbing and fatally shooting a husband and wife in Deadman’s Reef resumed in the Supreme Court in Grand Bahama yesterday.

Paul Belizaire, Devaughn Hall, and Kevin Dames are accused of the crimes.

Barry and Sheena Johnson were discovered shot dead at their triplex apartment in the Deadman’s Reef area on September 12, 2015. They were robbed of a set of keys and their truck, which were later recovered by police.

While continuing his evidence under cross-examination by Geoffrey Farquharson, a lawyer for one of the accused, lead police investigator Det 772 Lorenzo Johnson told the court that he was at the morgue when doctors removed a bullet from the right wrist of Mrs Johnson.

He was directed by counsel to look at a photograph taken of the wound with the bullet still lodged in her right wrist.

The attorney then referred the detective to the surveillance video footage taken from a camera at a residence of an armed robbery and shooting incident.

Video footage was submitted as evidence in the court – one taken at 9pm when a woman was seen arriving and entering the residence, and another at 10pm when a man came at the front door of the house and was accosted by four masked armed men.

Mr Farquharson suggested that there is no way to tell whether Mrs Johnson was still in the house at 10pm, but Det Johnson replied she was found dead in the living room of the residence. He also said two of the co-accused in custody had told police that she was inside the house when they came there to rob the couple.

Mr Farquharson suggested that the video footage submitted as evidence in court was only from one of the nine surveillance cameras that were installed at the Johnsons’ residence.

“Do you know how many cameras were installed at the residence?” asked Mr Farquharson.

Det Johnson recalled that four cameras were installed on the corners of the building.

The attorney asked the witness what happened to the footage of the other remaining cameras, but the officer said that Inspector Marlin Grant had been instructed to examine the DVR that was in the residence to assist them with their investigations. He said that he could not remember if nine cameras were installed at the house and that he did not talk to the technician who had installed them.

Det Johnson said that all of the cameras were checked by Inspector Grant and his team. He said that he saw the footage taken from the camera at the front door of apartment seven where there was activity.

When asked if he saw the footage from the other camera positions, Det Johnson said that he saw a lot of footage.

“What happened to the other footage?” asked Mr Farquharson. Det Johnson said Inspector Grant has the entire DVR in his office.

The attorney questioned the officer as to whether he had told Inspector Grant to preserve the remainder of the footage, but Det Johnson said that he could not recall.

Mr Farquharson then suggested that important footage may have been lost, and questioned whether the footage presented in court was that of the couple’s residence and not somewhere else.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Justice Estelle Gray-Evans is presiding over the matter. Carlson Shurland represents Dames, and Jethlyn Burrows represents Hall. Neil Brathwaite and Erica Kemp are appearing for the Crown.

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