Witness ‘lied for new life’

| 25/03/2014

(CNS): The lawyer representing Raziel Jeffers, accused of murdering Damion Ming, said the crown's key witness was making up theallegations against his client as part of a campaign of revenge for the way he treated her, and also to buy a new life in witness protection. He said she had received over $70,000 since she and her son were taken into protective custody four years ago. During cross examination Michael Wolkind QC pulled apart claims by Jeffers' former girlfriend that she had heard a detailed confession from him that he was Ming's killer during the weekend following the murder, as telephone records didn't tally with her alleged sequence of events. Accusing her of being a "quick, easy and natural liar" the attorney goaded her into confessing to the false allegations.

Despite admitting that she was uncertain about the sequence of events leading up to when the confession was made that weekend, the witness did not waver on her position that at some point Jeffers had given her a detailed account of how he shot and killed her friend Damion Ming in West Bay during March 2010.

However, the attorney pressed his client’s position emphatically that the allegations were a "pack of lies" she made up to get back at the man who she believed had treated her badly, as well as to stop his family from trying to take her child.

Attacking her character and credibility he brought up the details of what was evidently a life of drug abuse from a young age. He highlighted a clear lack of stability in her life with her father dying when she was very young and her mother leaving her in the care of aunts and sisters. He described her association with abusive alleged gangsters as being sexually active from just twelve years old, and that she had had attempted suicide at least once.

He said she had been led to exact revenge, which she had bragged to others about, because of her fear of Jeffers family's goal to take custody of the child because of her instability, Jeffers rejection of her and because she had nowhere to go.  The attorney painted her as a moaning, mean spirited person who had threatened to kill Jeffers in his sleep and who was angry that he did not love her. He also said that far from being jealous of her and Ming, Jeffers thought and cared very little for her.

Wolkind pressed the witness to admit that she had heard the details of the alleged confession not from Jeffers but from general gossip and from another witnesses at the scene. She then used that information to extract revenge. He suggested that while she was violent towards Jeffers he had been only emotionally abusive to her, rejecting her as his girlfriend.

The lawyer said that the police were paying for her and her child to go to school, and that they were paying her rent, utilities, medical and day to day expenses while she was living overseas under witness protection. He also said she had boasted about this to others. In exchange for saying what she did, Wolkind implied that the witness had bought herself a new easier life with the false allegations she had made about her former boyfriend in a campaign of revenge brought about because Jeffers did not love her as she had loved him.

Despite the discrepancies and inconsistencies highlighted by the defense lawyer, over who called who when and where, the witness stood firm that the confession about the murder of Damion Ming came from Raziel Jeffers and it was he who had told her the details of the killing. She admitted to being afraid that his family wanted to take her child in the same way they had taken two of Jeffers six other children from at least one of his baby mothers. But she said she went to the police because he had murdered her friend and she wanted to protect her child. She said that she didn’t decide alone to go to the police but claimed that the defendant’s now wife, and her cousin, had at the time also encouraged her to go and tell the police what she knew.

Jeffers former girlfriend admitted her past problems and struggles in life as well as her battle with drug misuse and her sexual relationships with abusive men. She said that the attorney could attack her character all he wanted but it did not change the confession that the father of her child had made to her.

Following the cross examination and a short re-direction from the crown, the witness was released and the prosecution turned to the first of its technical witnesses relating to telephone evidence.

Jeffers is accused of gunning down Damion Ming on 25 March 2010 in a West Bay yard where he was working on a boat. Ming died from two gunshot wounds to the chest and back but Jeffers has denied being the killer.

The trial continues Wednesday in court one.

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