Killing approved from jail

| 25/03/2014

(CNS): The key witness in the crown's case against Raziel Jeffers for the murder of Damion Ming in March 2010 told the court that he had received the OK to kill Ming from inside HMP Northward. Jeffers’ former girlfriend, who was living with him at time of the murder, told the jury how he had made a detailed confession to her about how he shot the man he believed was her lover. The woman, who was only 18 at the time of the killing and is now in witness protection, gave a detailed account of the confession she claims Jeffers made to her a few days after Ming was gunned down in West Bay. She told the court that Jeffers was given the nod from inside the jail, acquired a gun and then made his way to Birch Tree Hill, where he had been told Ming was working on a boat.

The witness told the court that on the night of the shooting she was already suspicious that it was the father of her child that had killed a man she described as a long-time friend and with whom she denied ever having a sexual relationship.

However, Jeffers believed that she had had a relationship with Ming in the past and while she was still with him. Jeffers was also aware that Ming had lent her money and was convinced that no man would give any woman money without having had sex with her. He was angry too that of all men she had picked to have an affair with, she had chosen his gang rival and enemy, Damion Ming.

She said that on the night Ming was killed, although she and Jeffers were reconciled and living together, they had argued earlier that day. She said he had disappeared for two days and she believed he was with another girl. He had returned that evening to where they were staying in George Town but told her he was going out again. Despite her efforts to stop him, he left with friends and locked her in the house. She said that Jeffers had called her about 30 minutes after the time Ming was reportedly shot and said, "I heard the boy Ming just got touched up," implying his gang rival had been killed.

Although distraught, she said that she had remained silent as she was fearful that he had something to do with it. She said she knew Jeffers had access to guns and she described him as a "serious gangster".

A few days later, she said, Jeffers related the events of the evening and detailed how he had killed Ming. In his confession he told her that it was a good job he had not listened to her the night Ming was shot and stayed home otherwise it never would have happened – suggesting he may have missed the chance to kill his rival. Instead, having gone out to West Bay, he told her that everything came together and had fallen into place "like a puzzle", as though it was meant to be.

She revealed that Jeffers had been given the "express permission to use a gun" to kill Ming from an unnamed individual who was an inmate at the prison. She said he told her he had collected the gun, which was a nine millimetre, sometime before. He had not told her from where, but it was hidden at a yard in West Bay.

Ahead of the killing he collected the gun, borrowed a bicycle and said he had dressed in what he termed his "Ninja suit", an outfit he wore when he was undertaking a "mission", the court heard.

According to the witness, Jeffers told her he then made his way to the yard in Birch Tree Hill via the back route and waited under cover of darkness at the side of the house. Jeffers described to her how he watched Ming crouching down by the boat and when he stood up, he stepped out directly in front of him and opened fire.

She said Jeffers told her the first shot struck Ming in the shoulder area and his victim spun around from the impact, so he fired again at his back. Ming then fell down but tried to crawl under the boat. Jeffers had said that he waited a few seconds and then opened fire again before leaving the scene.

Jeffers' former girlfriend told the court that she asked no questions as he made his confession as she had not wanted to know anything about what he was saying. She said that as he relayed the information he was excited and seemed proud that he had killed Ming.

During the course of her evidence she told the court of the tumultuous relationship she had with Jeffers and that she was afraid of him. She spoke about seeing him with guns, including an AK47, and hearing him talk about the access he had to the Birch Tree Hill gang's firearms.

She also revealed that at first she had covered up for Jeffers but later told the police what she knew as a result of a change in both her own and Jeffers’ circumstances. She said when Jeffers was arrested and held in custody on a different matter and because she was not living in his family's house she felt more comfortable telling the police what he had told her. She also said that the second time she was questioned about the killing it was by UK police rather than local officers, implying she felt safer with those who were not so directly connected to the community.

Following her evidence in chief led by prosecuting counsel, Andrew Radcliff, QC, the defence attorney began his cross examination of the witness on which the crown has hung its entire case against Jeffers, who has denied being the man who killed Ming.

Check back to CNS for a full report Tuesday.

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