Crown turns to experts in case against Anglin

| 22/08/2011

(CNS): Following evidence from two teenage girls that placed Devon Anglin in the same car as the one at the murder scene close to the time of the shooting, the crown turned to expert witnesses in their case against him for the murder of Jeremiah Barnes, as the first week of the trial drew to a close. Andrew Radcliffe QC presented forensic evidence on Thursday when the UK gunshot residue expert who had examined both the car and Anglin’s clothes was called to the stand. However, although the expert confirm that residue was found in the car and on Anglin’s clothes, he also revealed that the evidence could have been contaminated. 

He told the court that there was a moderate amount of gunshot residue (GSR) in the grey Honda Accord from the murder scene consistent with someone who had fired a weapon being in it. He said he had also found a moderate level of GSR on Anglin’s jeans, shoes and belt but he revealed that this could have been contaminated. He said that when he received the package containing Anglin’s clothes from Cayman he found gunshot residue on the outside.

He explained that it was possible that the officers from the uniform support group who arrested Anglin could very easily be contaminated with GSR as a result of firing weapons in the recent past, touching weapons that had been fired,  or wearing body armour which had been in contact with GSR, all as a result of their work.

Evidence given on Friday from a CCTV expert explained the science behind the distortions in this type of video tape but through enhancement he interpreted what was on the tape for the court. He said that there were a number of distortions which were a result of the natural compression of the imagery but was able to state with certainty that the gunman was holding the weapon in his left hand. He also stated that at first glance what appears to be a full face mask on the gunman is a distortion, as in reality he was wearing a bandana up to the bridge of his nose.

The expert revealed through comparisons of pictures of Anglin’s clothes on the day of his arrest, as well as CCTV footage when he came to court earlier on the day of the shooting, with those worn by the gunman, the boxer shorts and shoes could be the same. He said he could find “no distinguishable features” between them but he could not say with certainty they were the very the same pair of shoes of boxers. He also said that he believed that the hairline of the gunman and the defendant Devon Anglin were consistent with each other, but again he could not state with certainty that they were one and the same man.

The trial continues on Monday when the crown will be calling its remaining witnesses. With much of the evidence in the case given by witnesses not in dispute, the crown is expected to close its case against 26-year-old Anglin early next week. 

The defence will then have the opportunity to answer the crown’s case with witnesses of its own. It is not yet known if Anglin will be taking the witness stand.

Although all defendants still have the right not to take the stand in a trial, the local criminal evidence act was changed last year, before Anglin was charged with this crime, and now states that a judge or jury are legally able to draw an adverse inference if a defendant chooses not to speak in their own defence.

Correction and Clarificaiton: CNS would like to point out that the final paragraph contains incorrect information Anglin was in fact arrested and charged a few weeks before  law was changed.

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Category: Crime

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