Missing witness shows up

| 07/10/2010

(CNS): The trial of 19 year old Justin Ramoon was able to begin on Wednesday after the crown’s key witness and complainant in the case, who was missing on Monday, showed up at court. Sven Connor, who said he did not know he was expected on Monday, took the stand and told the court that Justin Ramoon had pulled a gun on him and the two men had fought outside a house in Fairlawn Road George Town on 21 February. Ramoon, who is facing charges of possession of an imitation firearm with intent, denied the allegations and said he was in West Bay on the evening in question. He said he did not know Connor very well and could not explain why he would make the accusation against him. (Photo courtesy of Cayman27)

Connor, who was released from jail last year after serving eleven years following a manslaughter conviction, said he believed that the defendant was sent by his cousin Roydell Robinson and accused Ramon and his family and friends of being a syndicate. The complainant said he had been falsely accused of trying to kill Robinson before the incident in Fairlawn Road but the charges of attempted murder were dropped.
Connor told the court that on the night of this incident he was sitting in front of a friend’s house in his girlfriend’s yard at around 8pm, when a distinctive car, which he said belonged to Ramoon’s step-father, pulled up near the property. As the car door slammed Connor looked to see Ramoon walking towards him. Connor told the court that when he was within one arm’s length Ramoon pulled out a semi-automatic hand gun from his pants and engaged the weapon as he aimed it at Connor’s head.
Thecomplainant said he quickly grabbed at the gun and the two men began to struggle over the firearm. When the gun fell to the ground, Connor ran into the bushes and towards the Field of Dreams at the end of Crewe Road, where he called the police. Connor said his shoulder was dislocated during the fight and he was taken to hospital. When asked by the defence attorney, Ben Tonner, if he was lying about the incident to get back at Robinson, Connor asked why he would need to lie about it. “I have no reason to lie about him, sir,” Connor said.
Ramoon, who took the stand in his own defence, denied being at the scene and said at the time he had moved from his home in George Town. He said his mother was in jail and he did not have a steady job, so was struggling to pay bills and the power had been cut off. He said he was bunking at a house near The Shores in West Bay with a cousin, and on the night Connor accused him of coming to the house, he was eating and drinking with the cousin and other friends.
Ramoon denied that he owned a gun or had been to the area that night. He said he had only known Connor for a short time and had no beef with him. The defendant told crown counsel that he was not there. “I never owned a gun, I never seen a gun,” he said. “Miss, you are suggesting wrong. I wasn’t even in the area that this guy is talking about,” Ramoon said as Tanya Lobben cross-examined him on behalf of the crown.
Ramoon denied that he had borrowed a car from Anthony Truman or that the man was his step-father but acknowledged that Truman had a relationship with his mother in the past. The defendant admitted that he had been to the area where Connor was talking about in the past to buy drugs and he also told the court he was on good terms with his cousin Robinson.
The court heard that although a search warrant had been issued and Ramoon’s home in George Town had been searched, no weapon was ever recovered in the case. The prosecution called three police witnesses that had been involved in the investigation but Anthony Truman, who had given a statement to the police and had been called as a witness, had also failed to appear when the trial was set to start Monday. Lobben told the court on Wednesday that Truman had written a letter saying he did not wish to testify, and according to immigration had left the jurisdiction.
Ramoon had originally been charged with attempted murder of Connor and possession of an unlicensed firearm. However, with no forensic evidence proving a gun had been fired, the crown dropped those two charges on Monday and replaced them with the one count for which Ramoon is now being tried.
The trial continues on Thursday morning.
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