Facebook postings raise concern during Anglin trial

| 22/08/2011

(CNS): Postings on the social networking site Facebook about witnesses in the trial of Devon Anglin for the murder of four year old Jeremiah Barnes became the subject of discussion in the courtroom on Monday morning before the proceedings resumed. Crown counsel Andrew Radcliff stated that the comments were inflammatory and in order to prevent an offence occurring, as they could fall foul of the law, he requested that the judge issue an order asking people to refrain from prejudicial comments while evidence was still being heard. Justice Howard Cooke, who is sitting alone, pointed out that he doesn’t look at the site and therefore the comments will have no effect on his deliberations but out of an abundance of caution he issued a statement.

“It has been brought to my attention by the crown that certain comments concerning the trial have been posted on Facebook. I have not seen them and it will not affect my consideration of the evidence in anyway,” he said. “However, it is clear that at a time when evidence is still being called in this case no comments must be made that might be thought capable of prejudicing any person in favour of or against any of the parties to the proceedings.”

The judge added that the comments were not directed at the press and were not intended to compromise the proper reporting of the proceedings.

As the trial moved into its second week the prosecution presented further witnesses in its case against 26 year old Devon Anglin from West Bay including one witness who was present at Batabano Plaza when the father of Jeremiah, Andy Barnes and Devon Anglin had exchanged angry words in January, two weeks before the shooting of his son at the gas station in Hell in February.

Barnes had testified that Devon had threatened to kill him and had shown him what appeared to be a hand gun. The witness said she was there on the afternoon in question and she had seen the men exchange angry words, but there was a large crowd many of whom were shouting. The witness said that she had seen something in Anglin’s hands but was not certain it was a gun. Although she had made astatement in February 2010 saying she assumed it was a gun as a result of the gestures made by Anglin she told the court that she had never said it was a gun as she had not seen a gun that day.

The crown also called the pump attendant from Hell gas station that was on duty on the night Jeremiah was shot and killed. He revealed how he had been standing at one of the gas station’s four pumps filling a customer’s car when he saw someone wearing a Halloween mask approach the forecourt.

As he reached Andy Barnes’ car, the attendant said the person then opened fire with a hand gun at the Barnes’ car. He said the individual fired two shot as the car was at the pump and another shot as the car pulled out of the gas station before the gun man ran off, he said seconds later he saw a car exit the gas station at speed. The attendant told the court that the person had his face covered and therefore he was unable to see any of the gunman’s features.

The case continues tomorrow with further crown witnesses.


Category: Crime

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