Defence lawyer says parents couldn’t see gunman

| 29/08/2011

(CNS): The eyewitness evidence given by both of Jeremiah Barnes’ parents is of no value, a lawyer argued in his closing speech on Friday as he answered the crown's case against Devon Anglin (left) for the shooting of the four-year-old child. John Ryder QC said that neither Andy Barnes nor Dorlisa Ebanks really saw the gunman at the Hell gas station that night but both made assumptions about who it might have been. He said that Barnes was describing the killer “as he thought him to be” but not, the lawyer said, as he really was. He also said that Dorlisa had no time to make a proper identification of the man who shot at her family because she had ducked down to take cover as soon as he opened fire.

“The shock and speed (of the shooting) was intensified by the fact that the gunman was wearing a mask,” Ryder told the court in the trial as he made his closing presentation to Justice Howard Cooke on behalf of his client, 26-year-old Anglin from West Bay.

He pointed to the antipathy between Anglin and Barnes and suggested that the father of the 4-year-old victim had jumped to conclusions on the night of 15 Feb 2010.

Ryder told the court that when Barnes ran into the police station minutes after his child had been shot and killed, he had shouted “they killed my youth” in the first instance and only later had used Anglin’s name. According to the statements submitted in the case by other witnesses, Barnes had punched a man in the face at the police station that night because, Ryder said, it was one of the men with Anglin at Batabano a few weeks earlier when, according to Barnes, Anglin had threatened to kill him.

The QC pointed to the evidence of the gas station attendant, whom he described as a reliable witness with no reasons to give anything other than accurate testimony. The lawyer said he was the first person to see the gunman emerge from behind the rear of the station and he had told the court that his face was completely covered from the first moment he saw him with what he said was a Halloween mask.

Ryder said that the evidence of the child’s parents was unreliable as the incident took only 8 seconds and they described someone they knew and whom they assumed was the killer.

“There is a risk of assumption on the part of the witnesses based on a predisposition,” Ryder said, adding that there were inconsistencies in, and discrepancies between, the evidence given by Jeremiah’s parents, as he told the judge the evidence was of no value.  He added that this was particularly illustrated by the fact that Barnes had described the clothes that Anglin was wearing earlier the same day when he had passed him rather than the clothes that the gunman was wearing when he gave he gave his statement to the police only hours after the incident.

The defence attorney told the court that he agreed with the judge's thoughts voiced previously that if he consider the eyewitness accounts of Dorlisa and Andy “worthless”none of the crown's other evidence could support it.

With the gunshot residue at risk of contamination, the CCTV analysis and the clothes of no probative value, he said there was no other solid evidence against his client. The lawyer noted that while two teenage girls placed Anglin in what was believed to be the getaway car sometime after the shooting, there were three people in that car that night but at the time of the murder witnesses spoke of only two.

Ryder said that there was more than enough doubt in the case against Devon Anglin for the judge to acquit his client.

As the defence finished the closing speech, the judge commended both counsel for their work in the trial and revealed that he would be handing down his verdict on Wednesday afternoon.

Category: Crime

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