Trial opens on club killing

| 01/12/2011

next level_0.jpg(CNS): Devon Anglin appeared before the chief justice Thursday on trial for the murder of Carlos Webster and the attempted murder of Christopher Solomon in a Grand Cayman nightclub over two years ago. The court heard that for the first time in Cayman, as a result of changes to the criminal procedure code, the crown’s key witness would remain anonymous and give evidence through a voice altered audio link that only the judge could hear undistorted. The unnamed person told the court they had witnessed Anglin shoot Webster in the Next Level nightclub following a fight by the bar. The witness said they had known Anglin for more than ten years and “could not mistake him for anyone else.”

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Richards, QC, who is prosecuting the case for the crown, told the court that Christopher Solomon, who was standing beside Webster at the time of the shooting was hit in the stomach by one of the three bullets fired by Anglin that passed through Webster’s forearm. Solomon told police that he went outside after the shooting and only then realised he had been hit.

During her opening statement Richards said the shooting came in the wake of an altercation between Chadwick Bodden, Webster and the defendant over something Bodden had said about Anglin’s girlfriend.

She revealed that in presenting the case the crown intended to rely on the evidence of the anonymous key witness who saw the shooting, a second anonymous witness who saw the altercation, the security staff and CCTV footage that showed Anglin at the club that night and leaving seconds after the shooting occurred. Despite their being some eleven cameras in the club, none of them caught the shooting on tape.

The unnamed key witness told the court that sometime after 1:00am on 10 September 2009 he saw Anglin, Webster and a man he knew from West Bay to be Chadwick Bodden fighting in the club.

Anglin punched and kicked Bodden but the fight was broken up by security guards. As the club staff removed Bodden outside Webster struck Anglin in the face. The witness said that after being punched by Webster, Anglin headed to the men’s restroom. A few minutes later Anglin emerged from the washrooms and the witness said he watched as Anglin pulled out a gun from his waistband and fired at Webster twice. He told the court via the audio link that as the victim fell to the floor clutching his side, Anglin walked over to him and fired one more time before he headed for the exit and left the club.

The witness said that Anglin used a small black gun that sounded like a .9 or .22 automatic handgun. Asked how he knew, the witness said he was familiar with gunshot sounds.

The crown’s case is based almost entirely on the key anonymous witness’s account along with evidence from security staff, CCTV footage that shows Anglin at the club that night and a second anonymous witness who also saw the altercation between the three men before the shooting.

The case is being tried by judge alone with Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, who, along with the court staff and legal teams, visited the location of the fatal shooting on Thursday afternoon. Although the club has since change hands and been renamed Jet, the general layout is similar and the defence team asked if the court would take the visit before they began their cross examination of the crown’s main unnamed witness.

The trial is set down for three weeks and resumes in court two at 10am Friday morning.

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