Accused ‘confessed to being part of fatal armed robbery’


Tribune Staff Reporter


A POLICE INSPECTOR testified yesterday that a man confessed to being part of the armed robbery of a bus on East Street in 2014 that left a 43-year-old male passenger dead.

Michael Newland, 29, is accused of killing Martin Flauristine during a stickup of a #1 bus on East Street near Island Games on February 24, 2014.

Newland’s trial on charges of murder and five counts of armed robbery continued before Justice Renae McKay.

Inspector McKenzie testified that while he was attached to the Central Detective Unit he interviewed witnesses at the scene of the incident on February 25, 2014.

On March 6, 2014, Inspector McKenzie said that he interviewed the defendant in connection with the shooting, during which time Newland denied all involvement.

However, during a second interview that took place in August of 2016 Inspector McKenzie said that the defendant confessed to being involved in the bus holdup.

He recalls that under caution Newland told officers that he along with Arturio “Ali” Miller and Franklyn Stubbs planned the bus robbery at the Patch. Newland said that it was Stubbs plan.

When the suspects got on the bus Newland said he sat at the back of the bus while his accomplices sat to the front.

After drawing a black and chrome .40 pistol the suspects told the bus patrons to hand over their money to the front of the bus. They were met with no resistance from the passengers.

Newland told police that Miller shot Flauristine causing the defendant to jump out of a window and flee on foot in the direction of Kelly’s Lumber Yard.

When the defendant later asked Miller why he shot the victim, he was told that the deceased tried to grab Miller.

Newland told officers that he never got any money from the heist.

The defendant’s signed record of interview was shown in court. A video of the defendant during the police interview showed him wearing a white t-shirt slouched over the table with his head down.

When asked by Prosecutor Timothy Bailey if the defendant was coerced into giving a confession, Inspector McKenzie said that Newland confessed of his own free will.

Dr Caryn Sands, pathologist at PMH, testified that on March 3, 2014 she performed an autopsy on the deceased. Her autopsy report indicated that Flauristine’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest.

She further said that the bullet entered the left side of his chest and exited through the right. The bullet’s trajectory went downward and passed through the deceased’s eighth rib, left lung, liver and rib.

There was no evidence of close range discharge on the victim’s skin.

When Mr Bain pointed out that the incident happened on a bus and suggested that the gun must have been fired from close range the doctor said it was possible.

Dr Sands said that it was possible that the gunman could have fired more than 2ft from victim as he sat in the row behind the driver. She however cannot indicate where the shooters were standing exactly but that the bullet trajectory indicates the gunman was standing up.

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