Lawyer for Westmoreland man arrested for murder, rape claims it wasn't himSaturday, July 24, 2021
BY DAINA DAVY
DARLISTON, Westmoreland — “This is a classic case of mistaken identity,” attorney-at-law Michael Erskins told investigators at the Westmoreland Parish Court.
His client, Dwayne Raffington from Highgate in Darliston, had been hauled before the court on July 20. The 38-year-old mechanic has been charged with a number of offences but his attorney insists he is being mistaken for someone else.
Among the charges Raffington faces is the murder of 20-year-old Fitzroy Boothe of Bluefields and the abduction and rape of Boothe's female companion.
The Whithorn police report that Boothe was at home in Caledonia, Whithorn, in the parish, with a female companion on June 30 when they heard sounds outside at 2:10 am. Boothe got a machete and went to check the source of the sounds when he was shot. It is alleged that Raffington then abducted and raped the female who was present, the police report alleges.
When the police arrived at Boothe's home he was found with gunshot wounds to his upper body. Raffington was found hours later at his house, where he was positively identified by the female victim and arrested, the police said. He was charged on July 5 with murder, rape, grievous sexual assault, abduction, and burglary.
At his client's committal hearing on Tuesday, Erskins claimed that established protocols were not followed during the investigation that led to his client's arrest. The attorney accused investigators of failing to hold an identification parade and argued that his client was not given an opportunity to answer the allegations made against him at the time of his arrest.
An officer at the Savanna-la-Mar Police Station, who asked not to be identified by name, explained to the Observer that having an eyewitness (the female victim) made it unnecessary to have an identification parade or a question-and-answer session.
“There was no need for an identification parade because the victim had already identified Raffington. When we first questioned the victim, she described the clothes he was wearing and we found the same clothing at his house when we picked him up. Plus, we have a lot of other evidence,” the lawman added.
Raffington has been remanded in custody ahead of an antecedent report for his second committal hearing. The report will provide the judge with information on prior criminal convictions, if there are any, before the matter is tried in the circuit court.
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