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Second witness corroborates evidence in Boulevard cops' trial

But defence points out discrepancies

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

Saturday, November 10, 2012    

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THE prosecution yesterday called another witness to corroborate the evidence of it's main witness that Kemar Walters and Oliver Duncan were taken from a Corporate Area plaza by police officers. However, attorneys representing the accused managed to highlight some contradictions.

Assistant Superintendent Victor Barrett, Corporal Louis Lynch, and Constable Paul Edwards are being tried in the Home Circuit Court for the murder of the men, who were abducted from the Washington Plaza, along Washington Boulevard, in St Andrew, on December 23, 2004.

Evidence was given by the main witness that Edwards confessed to killing Duncan and that another police officer shot Walters and that Barrett attempted to cover up the crime when it was reported to him.

The main witness, who is of dark complexion, testified previously that he was the only person dressed in sandals and plain clothes when the two men were apprehended by himself, Lawrence Clayton, and Edwards at the plaza.

But yesterday's witness testified under cross-examination from attorney Deborah Martin that the man he saw in sandals was of fair complexion and six feet two inches tall, which does not fit the description of the main witness.

Part of the defence's contention is that neither the prosecution's main witness nor the accused men were on the plaza on the date in question. The main witness, it has been posited by the defence, was downtown Kingston on an operation as a statement of his suggest. But the witness had said that the statement was false and that he gave it on Barrett's directive.

Yesterday's witness, a former police officer who was assigned to the Duhaney Park Police Station, testified during his examination-in-chief that on the day in question, he was on the balcony of the plaza looking down when he noticed a "person in plainclothes with a firearm holding another person" in his waistband and walking.

He said a man he recognised as Corporal Clayton took a man from a Honda CRV and walked him also to a red Honda motor car.

He said he and Clayton waved to each other.

The witness said that he noticed another person, dressed in plainclothes and slippers and carrying a firearm, going over to talk to Clayton.

The witness said that a Toyota Corolla pulled up some eight minutes later and that Clayton went to speak with the occupants of the vehicle.

But under cross-examination by Martin, the witness said that he had been on two identification parades but was unable to point out any of the persons he saw on the plaza on December 23, 2004.

The prosecution's main witness had testified that he was placed on identification parade but was not pointed out. He had said also that Lynch was the driver of the white Toyota.

Yesterday, it was brought out by Martin that the current witness had given five statements to the police, between December 29, 2004 and January 2005.

In his first statement to the police on December 29, he said he saw the men at 1:20 pm, but said during his examination-in-chief that it was about 3 o'clock. When challenged about the discrepancy in time, the witness said that he was giving an approximation.

It was also brought out that he gave a second statement on January 5, 2005 to make a correction about whom he said he was with at the time of the incident.

He said he also gave another statement on January 7 to correct the description of Clayton's complexion that he gave in a previous statement.

In a follow up statement he said he included a description of the two men he saw in handcuffs and being led away.

"This was a request from the investigator," the witness said.

Under cross-examination from Valerie Neita-Robertson, it was brought out that the witness had given evidence in a previous case in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, saying that Clayton was wearing a black and red police vest.

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