Teen denies killing numbers man

| 06/06/2011

(CNS): Taking the stand on Thursday and Friday last week, 18-year-old Jordan Manderson denied killing Marcus Duran in March last year and said he believed it was Damion Ming that probably shot him (Manderson) in the leg that night but he couldn’t say for sure. Describing how he had crouched down with his eyes closed on the stairway when Andy Barnes and Ming were running towards him with guns, Manderson said he was hit when the shooting started but he never actually saw which of the two men shot him or murdered the numbers man. The teen told the court that he had lied about being at the crime scene as he was on a police curfew and didn’t want to go back to jail or get involved because, he said, “nowadays informers get killed.”

Manderson told the court that Andy Barnes had threatened him on several occasions before the night of the killing, but that he was much more afraid of Damion Ming as he lived close by and was known as major drug dealer. The teen described the rivalry between his friends and Barnes and Ming and their friends.

He admitted lying to the police at first and explained that he told them that Barnes had shot him because of previous threats but he believed the real threat was from Ming. It wasn’t until Ming was killed in his yard some two weeks after the murder of Duran at Maliwinas Way that Manderson said he felt safe to call his name.

On the night of the shooting, Manderson said he had gone with a friend called George to buy weed (ganja) behind the apartment block where Duran was shot. The teen said he couldn’t find the man and had decided to give up and return to George’s car when he saw two men running towards him with guns. He said that as they came closer he recognized the two as Barnes and Ming. “I was scared … I thought they were going to shoot me,” he told the court.

He said that it was dark and he ran up a few of the stairs and crouched down but Ming ran past him, and then the shooting started and he “picked up a shot”. The teen said Ming came back down the stairs and was squeezing the trigger more as he could hear the clicking but the gun didn’t fire before he and Barnes got into a car and drove off.

Manderson said his leg was burning and he was in terrible pain and tried to stand up but fell to the floor, but he had not seen or heard who Barnes and Ming were shooting at. He said he was crying and screaming and couldn’t walk but had to hop to George’s car and told him he must take him home to his daddy’s house.

“I had a feeling I was dying,” he said. The teen said he used his t-shirt to try and stop the blood, which was everywhere. Manderson told the court that when they got to Barnett Close, which was still a ways from his home, George stopped the car and tried to push him out, despite the gunshot wound, because he said he did not want to get involved. The teen said he cried out and said, “No, no, you must take me to my daddy’s house,” but, he said, George cursed him and pushed the helpless teen out of his car before driving off.

At that point, a few seconds later, Chris Johnson drove by and picked Manderson up and took him to his father’s house, where he told his family Andy Barnes had shot him and then they took him to the hospital.

Manderson had been shot through the knee. He was in terrible pain and had been given medication, he said, and when the police came to talk to him he was afraid to tell the truth and “place himself on top of a crime scene” because he thought he would be blamed for the killing. “I thought I would be charged for murder and be whereabouts I am right now,” he said.

The teen explained he had been in custody since he was arrested in April 2010, and on a number of occasions he had to be taken from the prison to the hospital because of the condition of his leg and other associated health problems. He turned seventeen just after his arrest and claimed that during the time he was in custody in George Town police station he was threatened by the police that he must say he killed the numbers man and they told him he was going to jail for a long time.

During his police interviews his social worker, who was supposed to assist him, was “on top of her blackberry” throughout the interviews, the teen told the court. Once the police had found his blood at the crime scene, Manderson said, “it made no sense to lie anymore” and he explained that he wasn’t really sure whether it was Ming or Barnes who actually shot him but he suspected it was Ming. He told the court that he couldn’t say who shot the numbers man but it was Ming who had gone up the stairs to the apartment.

The trial continues Monday.

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