Alibis revealed for accused

| 03/09/2010

(CNS): Both Brandon Leslie-Ebanks and Patrick McField had given the police alibis for their whereabouts at the time Omar Samuels, the man they are accused of murdering, was believed to have been shot, the court heard on Thursday. During the fourth day of the Grand Court trial of Leslie-Ebanks, McField and Osborne Douglas for the murder of  Samuels the jury heard from a number of police witnesses, some of whom had interviewed the accused men. Statements taken from the men before and after their arrests revealed they both Leslie-Ebanks and McField had offered up friends and family who could vouch for where they were at the time of the murder and they denied being with each other.

According to two taped statements that Leslie-Ebanks gave to the police after his arrest for the murder, he had been at a friend’s house all of the Saturday night in question, but just before midnight he went to JahT’s restaurant in McField Square to buy food, which he then took back to his friend’s house in Central, an area of George Town some ten minutes walk from McField Square. He then ate the food before his "baby-mama" came to pick him up, he told the police. In his statement he said they had then both headed to Smith Cove in her car and then later she took him home. 
Leslie-Ebanks told police he was in the square close to the murder scene for no more than about ten minutes as he bought roast conch. He said he seen Omar Samuels sitting on a porch at a house in Harlem as he passed to go to the restaurant but he did not see him again when he passed a little after midnight on his return journey to Central after buying the food. He also said he had seen Osborne Douglas in passing that night on the street but he had not been out with him or Patrick McField, whom he had not seen at all.
In the police interview Leslie-Ebanks had denied having anything to do with the murder or having a gun but admitted knowing Samuels and said he believed they were related. The defendant told the interviewing officers that he had nothing against Samuels and had nothing to do with the shooting.  “It was not me in Harlem,” he told the police. “He was alive and well when I passed him,” Leslie-Ebanks said of Samuels. Told that he had been seen there with a gun by a witness, he said it made no sense and he knew nothing about where McField and Douglas were but he, Brandon Leslie, was not there and he did not shoot Samuels.
One police officer revealed to the court that it was believed Samuels was shot shortly before 1:00am and that on both occasions Leslie-Ebanks was interviewed he had stated he was at his friend’s house and then with his girlfriend around the time of the murder. The court heard, however, that despite offering the alibi the first time he was interviewed, he was then interviewed a second time without the police having investigated his account. The police finally took statements from Leslie-Ebanks’ witnesses more than two weeks after he had given his account for the second time.
The jury also heard that Patrick McField was with other people that night, one of whom, a police officer said, had corroborated his account. This happened early in the investigation before McField was a suspect. Before he was arrested McField had volunteered a statement to the police about the night confirming he was in Peppers and saying he had seen Samuels there. McField told police that on the Saturday 4 July he was celebrating his birthday, which was on the following Sunday.
He went to Peppers with his female cousin and met more friends and family there, where they stayed drinking until the club closed around midnight. McField told police he was drunk at the end of the night so his cousin drove him back to her home in Randyke Gardens. DS Lauriston Burton confirmed that he had interviewed McField’s cousin who supported McField’s account.
Following his arrest both McField and Douglas exercised their right to silence and did not offer further formal comment to the police. However, Douglas told thepolice outside of interview that they had missed somebody and that somebody was Martin Trench.
The court has already heard that a fresh palm print belonging to Trench was found on a car very close to the murder scene, and that he was the former boyfriend of the crown’s sixteen-year-old eye witness. A friend of Samuels who gave evidence yesterday claimed that before he died Samuels told him that a man called Martin had shot him and taken his gun.
During the fourth day, aside from hearing evidence from the police, the jury also heard from pathologist Dr Bruce Hymer, who confirmed that Samuels’ death was a homicide. He said he had died from a loss of blood as a result of the gunshot wound that had entered through his left thigh and penetrated the femoral artery and vein and exited through the back of his legs, some 2 cm higher.
Although the pathologist could not give an exact position for Samuels when he was shot, Dr Hymer said he was standing upright and, having only one arm as Samuels had lost his left arm in a previous accident, it was physically impossible for him to have inflected the wound on himself. He also said there was no evidence of gunshot burning or residue around the entrance, which would suggest Samuels had been shot from some distance.
He also stated that the grazes and abrasions on Samuels’ body were consistent with him collapsing to the ground as a result of his wound and there was no physical evidence that he had been beaten or kicked and punched.
The case resumes in Grand Court one on Friday morning with evidence from the telecommunication companies.
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