BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, November 30, 2013
A defence attorney in the Vybz Kartel murder trial yesterday suggested that the prosecution’s main witness “sold” the accused men for “30 pieces of silver” like Jesus was, concocting a story of murder to avoid picking up a gun charge.
The witness was being cross-examined by Pierre Rogers, the attorney for Kahira Jones, who — along with Kartel, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, André St John and Shane Williams — is being tried in the Home Circuit Court for the August 16, 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams in a house in Havendale, St Andrew.
Entertainer Vybz Kartel (in red necktie) and co-accused Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell (in black necktie) enter the Supreme Court building last week for their ongoing murder trial. (PHOTO: JOSEPH WELLINGTON)
During, the scorching cross-examination, Rogers repeatedly accused the witness — who testified with his head hung in an apparent bid to avoid eye contact with the accused men — of being a liar.
But as Rogers applied the pressure the witness tried maintaining his composure and stuck to his guns that he was telling the truth about what he said occurred at the Havendale home when Williams was killed.
He also and denied that the police assisted him with the making of his statement. Still, Rogers was relentless, at one point telling the witness: “Mr [name withheld] I hate to do this but you, sir, are a liar.”
Rogers’ reference to the witness as selling the accused men for “30 pieces of silver” followed the witness saying that he was not charged with illegal possession of firearm despite telling the police that he had buried a gun in his yard in Waterford, St Catherine after August 16. Asked by Justice Lennox Campbell if the gun was recovered, the witness said ‘no’.
That question triggered the following exchange between Rogers and the witness: Rogers: “Did you carry the police to look for [the gun]?” Witness: “They know where it was.” Rogers: “You carry them to look?” Witness: “No, sir.” Rogers: “What did you have to tell the police why they didn’t charge you?” “Sir?” the witness said, as if he didn’t understand.
“Forgive me,” Rogers said. “That was unforensic. You spoke to the police before they decided not to charge you?” “I don’t understand,” said the witness to several grunts of apparent frustration from Rogers, whose next question was: “You know about the 12 pieces of silver Jesus was sold for?” to which the witness said “yes”.
Rogers was corrected by Campbell, who told him that Jesus was actually sold for 30 pieces of silver, which sparked laughter as the witness, decked in a white shirt and tattoos running down his left arm and on his fingers, stood with his head bowed, awaiting the next question. “Did you receive any favour, any 30 pieces of silver for your story?” Rogers asked. “No sir,” the witness said. “But they didn’t charge you,” Rogers said. “They never found [the gun],” the witness said.
Rogers then suggested to the witness that the police assisted him in making up a story against the men and that was why he wasn’t charged for the gun he had buried, but the witness denied the suggestion.
At another point during the cross-examination, Rogers pointed out some contradiction between the witness’s evidence and that given earlier by the sister of the deceased — which include the time of the day he said he and the deceased ran to her yard on August 14, what she was wearing at the time and the amount of money she said she gave them both. The witness was also tackled about some inconsistencies between the evidence he gave during his examination-inchief and what he did or did not tell the police. During this phase,
Rogers repeatedly asked the witness if he didn’t see that he was lying, but the witness was quick with his two-word response: “No, sir.” Rogers said that the details are what present a problem with telling lies, but the witness insisted that he was telling the truth. Attorney Tamika Harris started her cross-examination of the witness on behalf of her client, St John. She’s to continue when the trial resumes on Monday.