By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE sister of a key witness in a murder trial yesterday gave evidence in support of her brother’s previous claims that he was arrested by police and beaten to implicate their cousin and two other men in the matter.
Terez Stubbs, taking the witness stand before Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson, said police officers stormed her house and arrested her brother Carlderon Brown on July 8, 2016, two weeks after their cousin Jahmaro Edgecombe was accused of killing Kenyari Lightbourne on June 21.
Ms Stubbs said after the officers arrested Brown, which was in connection with armed robbery and another serious offence, she didn’t see him for a “long time”, despite her and family members’ attempts to find out at which station he was being held.
The testimony came during Edgecombe’s and Sean “Fire” Brown’s trial into Lightbourne’s death.“
On the date in question, Lightbourne was shot multiple times while walking through his Woods Alley neighbourhood off Market Street. He died at the scene.
Daran Neely and Edgecombe aka “Bingy” were arraigned within months of each other in 2016 in connection with Lightbourne’s death. Brown was charged with being an accessory after the fact.
The Crown claims that Neely authorised the hit on Lightbourne’s life because of his affiliation with the Mad Ass gang some days before the actual murder, and that Neely sent Brown to pay Edgecombe $6,000 for successfully executing the crime.
Last week, however, Neely was acquitted by the jury at Justice Grant-Thompson’s directions.
Previously, Carlderon Brown testified how in July of 2016, he was arrested at his Pinewood Gardens home and taken to the South Beach Police Station before being taken to the Central Detective Unit (CDU). He said his two sisters, younger brother, and stepfather were at home when he was arrested.
Carlderon Brown said when he got to CDU, he was led to the homicide section, where he was suffocated and beaten about the abdomen, and threatened to be prosecuted for armed robbery and home invasion. He said the officers told him to “go with what they have” and that if he did, he wouldn’t be charged with any crimes.
He said that as a result of the officers’ actions, he signed documents, the contents of which he had no knowledge.
And those documents, he said, was a statement dated July 8, 2016 in which he “confessed” to police that Edgecombe killed Lightbourne at Neely’s request for some $5,000, then used $3,000 of that sum to buy a silver Nissan Primera.
Since then, Edgecombe, who was initially implicated in the crime via Carlderon Brown’s statement, has testified that he too was brutalised by police not only for him to confess to killing Lightbourne, but as a way for police to have the “big fish”, Neely and Sean Brown, implicated as being involved in the conspiracy to kill the deceased.
Taking the witness stand yesterday, Ms Stubbs said she was present when her brother was arrested. She said on the date in question, about five to six officers, whose “ringleader” was a bald-headed, “bright” complexioned, heavy-set man said to be Sonny Miller, came to their house and arrested her brother who was watching YouTube videos.
Ms Stubbs claimed the officers came to the house, marched inside to where Carlderon Brown was situated and asked him his name. Then, she said the officers told her brother to “get (expletive) up”. Afterwards, she said she watched as they took pictures of the website’s URL, placed her brother in handcuffs and put him in a white car that took him away.
Afterwards, she said she and her sisters called various police stations, inclusive of the South Beach Police Station, the Quakoo Street Police Station, as well as the Carmichael Road Police Station to find out where her brother was being held, but with no results.
Some two days later though, she said, she, along with other persons, went to CDU to see her brother and deliver some water and Gatorade to him. However, she said, they didn’t see him. Instead, she said she had to give the drinks to the officers to give to her brother.
However, lead Crown prosecutor Racquel Whymms challenged Ms Stubbs on her evidence, especially given the fact that she was present in court on certain occasions while evidence was being lead. Thus, Ms Whymms asserted that she knew “exactly what to say” once she took the witness stand.
And the only reason she knew Officer Miller’s name, Ms. Whymms asserted, is because that was the only officer she saw take the witness stand.
However, Ms Stubbs, in response to questions put to her by Edgecombe’s attorney David Cash, said although she sat in court on certain occasions towards the middle of the trial, she did not sit in court after being advised by Justice Grant-Thompson that Mr Cash had made an application for her to be called as a defence witness, and that she would have to excuse herself from the proceedings as a result.
Nonetheless, Ms Whymms further questioned why Ms Stubbs was giving evidence on Carlderon Brown’s behalf in any event, as he is not a defendant in the matter.
The case continues today.