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Defence accuses cop of misleading court in Kartel case

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 17, 2014    

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THE defence in the Vybz Kartel murder trial yesterday accused Crown witness Corporal Shawn Brown of deliberately misleading the court by presenting selected cellphone texts that suggested a murder plot.

Defence attorney Tom Tavares-Finson suggested that the witness abstracted texts from a series sent between co-accused Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell and another number to give the impression that Campbell was involved in a plot to murder Clive 'Lizard' Williams.

On Monday, Brown read to the jurors texts he had put together from a disc provided by Digicel, including a message from Campbell to an 844-5320 number which states: "How much fi deal with everything fi Lizzy."

That text was sent at 1:43 pm on August 16, the day Williams is believed to have been beaten to death at a house belonging to Vybz Kartel in Havendale, St Andrew, over a missing gun.

But yesterday, while cross-examining Brown, Tavares-Finson, who along with his son Chris appears for Vybz Kartel, pointed to other texts on the disc which, he said, gave a clearer picture of what Campbell was talking about and with whom.

At 12:59 pm on August 16 Campbell texted the 844-5320 number: "Bring [some] lunch fi mi and Liz nuh please." Then at 1:13 Campbell texted the same number: "So check up how much fi deal wid everything fi she go back a school ok."

"Shawn mi cn check up di ting dem su mi cn geh u a list a wat is needed. Di book list deh ova ur house and di voucher," read a text to Campbell at 3:13 pm from the number.

"Ok i will. Bring bk smt for mi and di baby ok," read a text from the number to Campbell at 11:29 pm. Then at 11:52 pm a text from the number to Campbell read: "Oh suh y it change frm fri to tmrw, that was quik, bring a hand bag r purfum fi mi, buy a black and a white snekers fi lizy r smt ok." The following day, another text from the number to Campbell's phone read: "Tmrw a lizy clinic day shi a gu get injection and check up."

After the texts were read, Tavares-Finson asked Brown: "Who you think they were referring to when they said that?"

"A child," Brown said.

"Who?" the attorney asked.

"Lizy," Brown responded.

Asked by Tavares-Finson about the controversial "How much fi deal with everything fi lizzy" text, Brown said there was some "ambiguity. The response caused some laughter from attorneys and others in court. Brown, however, agreed with Tavares-Finson that one of the texts had to do with Lizy's school.

The attorney suggested to Brown that he had selected the controversial text out of all the others that mentioned Lizy to include in his presentation so as to "deliberately mislead the court". Brown denied the suggestion, but agreed that if he had typed the word Lizy in the information he had it would have located all reference to the name. But in a surprising admission, Brown said he didn't go through all the texts during his analysis.

Asked by Tavares-Finson if he wanted to apologise to the jurors for leaving out the other texts, Brown insisted that it wasn't done deliberately.

Next up to cross-examine Brown was Michael Lorne, Campbell's attorney.

At one point, the attorney asked: "Would it surprise you if I suggest to you that the number [844-5320] is the number of Campbell's fiancée?" Brown said it wouldn't surprise him. He agreed also that the texts in their entirety sounded like a conversation between the mother and father about their child.

"Therefore, when you picked out that one text you were deliberately trying to mislead the court?"

Lorne asked.

"No," said Brown, who again stated that he didn't do a "detailed" analysis of the text messages.

He said he randomly selected the controversial text, but Lorne asked why he didn't select the one about the school books and voucher and the text about the clinic. "My analysis didn't go that far," Brown offered to more laughter from the defence.

Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer; Campbell; Shane Williams; Andre St John; and Kahira Jones have been on trial before Justice Lennox Campbell in the Home Circuit Court since last November for Williams' murder.

Also yesterday, Brown testified that he had given senior prosecutor Joan Barnett the control disc JS1 from Digicel before. Evidence was given that the JS1 disc is missing. Barnett passed away last year.

Meanwhile, Rudolph Myles, Cable & Wireless' regional fraud manager, testified during examination-in-chief that a phone with the name 'Aidjah' Palmer was registered to the telecoms company. He said the person's date of birth was December 12, 1980.

But Tavares-Finson, in cross-examining the witness, pointed out that his client's first name is spelled 'Adidja and that his date of birth was actually January 7, 1976. It also came out that there was no address given to the phone company for the 'Adijah' Palmer Myles spoke of and no Tax Registration Number either.

The trial continues today with the continued cross-examination of Brown by Lorne.

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