Witness heard 13 shots

| 01/09/2010

(CNS): On day two of the murder trial of Patrick McField, Osborne Douglas and Brandon Ebanks, the crown’s key eye witness said she heard 13 shots fired on the night (5 July 09) Omar Samuels was killed in front of a house in McField Lane, George Town. The sixteen year old girl told the court, during two days of evidence via video link that she was there when the three defendants came to the house. Douglas and Ebanks both had guns, she said, which they held to Samuels head before they began fighting in the yard, while McField looked on. The teen testified that Samuels fell back on to a fence as Ebanks and Douglas began shooting at him. (Photo courtesy of News27)

The witness who was 15 at the time says that she and her female friend were at the house that night to see another friend who lived upstairs at the property. The girl said that she had arrived around midnight to see the woman who, it was revealed during testimony, was a mother with four young children, but she discovered she was not home. She told the court that she went downstairs to the porch to look for her there, when she saw Omar Samuels a man she knew from the neighbourhood sitting by the wall. She said they spoke for a short time but as she was preparing to leave the three defendants arrived.
The teen testified that Douglas walked towards Omar and said “what you saying now?” and McField said “una deal with him” then Ebanks and Douglas began pointing the guns at his head.  As Samuels stood up the men began to fight in the yard and at some point Samuels stumbled in to the fence and shots were fired.
During her evidence the teen said she saw both Douglas and Ebanks point theguns towards Samuels and three shots were fired before she and her teen friend ran away down the side of the house and hid between a wall and the Laundromat. More shots were fired and the teen confirmed she heard 13 in total. When the shooting stopped she said the two girls stayed hidden until the three defendants passed them laughing and talking, carrying the guns.
She testified that a little while later they had hurried back to her own house via McField Lane, following behind the defendants but they had not seen them. She said when she and her friend arrived at her house she did not wake her mother who was sleeping, but they went to her room and looked out of the window. She said she then saw the three defendants come into her home yard as she peered through the curtains.
During cross examination the teen confirmed that she did not call an ambulance for Samuels or tell anyone about what she saw and admitted that she had not gone to the police until more than three weeks after the shooting on the 29 July.
She said she had not phoned an ambulance as she “did not think it was necessary” as she was not certain that Samuels had been injured. However, she learned around 30 minutes later that he was dead as her uncle had called to tell her, but she did not tell him that she and her friend had seen who had shot him because she was shocked and frightened.
Asked by defense counsel to explain why it took her so long to go to the police she said she hadn’t wanted to go and she only went because of threats made by McField that she didn’t have long to live and as a result of two appearances of Douglas in her yard. The teen stated that the last time Douglas came was on the morning that they decided to go to the police. She said her friendhad broken down and said they had to go to the police as she couldn’t stand it any longer and they had to go together to say what they had seen.
During the two days of evidence the teen was cross examined by each of the defence Queen’s Counsel representing the three defendants. Each raised the question of the teen witness’ former boyfriend whom they suggested had been present at the scene that night which was the real reason why she was there and it was him that had told her to testify against the three defendants.
Trevor Burke QC representing Patrick McField implied that it was odd that a fifteen year old girl would be visiting the mother of four very young children after midnight without calling and then end up hanging around the porch with Samuels a man who was several years older than her.
He asked a number of times about a man called Martin Trench whose palm print, the attorney said, was found on a car parked at the scene of the crime. He said the police had been looking for him but he had left the country for Jamaica soon after the shooting.
The teen witness confirmed that she had gone out with the 24 year old Trench before the shooting but they were not together by that time, she knew nothing about him going to Jamaica and she said she was not with him that night.
Burke put it to her that she had not seen McField there that night and even she may not have been there, but that she had made her testimony up, which the teen witness denied.
Alastair Malcolm QC, representing Douglas, queried how she could be certain who she had seen with the gun. He suggested that she had not seen the men who had come to the yard for very long. He asked as she had admitted in her evidence that the man she said was Douglas was wearing a scarf over his face how she knew it was him. The attorney noted she had claimed to hear him say only a fewwords and asked how she could say it was Douglas.
"I recognized his voice" and “it rang a bell in my head,” she said, when he spoke. The teen also testified that she could still see his eyes, and later when he passed her as she was hiding by the Laundromat, he was not wearing the scarf.
Malcolm also asked about the times that she claimed Douglas came to her yard after the date of the shooting. She said the first time was around a week and a half later and when the defence counsel asked if that was around the 15 July 2009 she agreed it was. “If I was to suggest on that day he was in Jamaica would you be surprised, would you still say he was in your yard?” the attorney asked the teen who replied, “Yes sir.”
Counsel for Ebanks, Nicholas Rhodes QC, also queried why she was in the neighbourhood so late at night attempting to see a mother with young children. He said that gambling and drug dealing was known to go on at the porch where she says she went after finding her friend wasn’t home and not somewhere she could expect to feel safe. However, the teen said she was used to the area. She also revealed in her testimony that she lived only a minute or so away.
Rhodes also suggested that someone had put her up to blaming the three defendants which she denied. He suggested that she had not seen Ebanks on the night of the shooting but the teen witness said she did.
She told the court that she had no reason to lie and she had nothing against the defendants. “I did see them there that night,” the teen said.
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