Jeffers denies killing Ming

| 28/03/2014

(CNS): Raziel Jeffers emphatically denied killing Damion Ming or making any confession to his former girlfriend about the shooting when he took the witness stand on Friday in his own defence. Jeffers was called by his attorney Michael Wolkind QC after the lawyer made a damming opening statement for the defence case ripping apart the crown's key witness whom he described as a 'Ninja agent of revenge'. Jeffers said he was with two friends on the night Ming was killed and the men had visited family members in various parts of West Bay before going to a bar. Jeffers said he had no reason to kill Ming who wasn’t his enemy and he was far from jealous about anything going on with him and the mother of his child, as it was a relief to be rid of her.

Asked by his lawyer as soon as he took the stand if he had killed Damion Ming, Jeffers replied clearly and emphatically, “No Sir”. He denied any gang affiliations and said he had known Ming since back in school when they were friends, and although they had not kept up    after leaving school they were friendly and there were no problems between them. Jeffers said one of his daughters was close friends in primary school with Ming’s son and had no desire to see him killed. Discussing Ming’s possible involvement in the Alrick Peddie murder, Jeffers however distanced himself from gang affiliations.

Talking about the mother of his child, the crown’s principle witness against him and his alleged former girlfriend, Jeffers told the jury that he never had a real relationship with the crown’s key witness and from the very start when they began having sex he made it clear he was not interested in anything more. 

He related various accounts of fights between them and of her demanding far more from him than he was prepared to give. He said that the communication they did have was as a result of the baby which he believed was his, although he said she had avoided requests for a DNA test. Speaking of a tumultuous affair he said she was aggressive and violent but he was not the same towards her and that he had tried to make her understand that he was not interested.

Jeffers explained that he had become her guardian as a means to help her keep the baby because she was homeless and there was no one to help her. He said this was a temporary measure until she was 18, when he had told her she must make her own way and find somewhere to live.

He said he was never in a relationship with her but she was angry with him because he stopped having sex with her and was seeing other women. He said that he rarely spent time with her in the house she stayed in, which belonged to Jeffers’ father, and that while he mostly stayed away from her and did his own thing he would give the baby what he needed.

Jeffers described her as becoming an embarrassment and spoke of a number of violent encounters with her, which he said she had instigated. He described her smashing things up at his father’s house when she was vexed and he said he was grateful when she went to stay at an apartment that Ming had paid for and had even helped her move in to. “I was glad someone else was taking the burden of what I had been going through,” he told the court when he was asked if he was jealous before insisting that he was not.

He said she had had relationships with a lot of men and had a bad reputation for being involved with people who were said to be gangsters. He said she bragged about celebrating when Mark Seymour was killed in what was suspected as tit-for-tat gang violence outside Kelly's bar in 2008, and also about being grazed by bullets when she was at one boyfriend's house that was shot-up.

Leading up to the night that Ming was murdered Jeffers said he had been avoiding her, and when he went back to the house where they stayed in George Town they had fought. He recalled how she had stabbed him in the leg with a pen. He said it was because he would not have sex with her or stay home with her. When she came at him with the pen he pushed her onto the bed before leaving with friends and going to West Bay.

Jeffers told the jury that he went to meet his mother and then later to his friend's’ father’s house before he and the two men who he was with went to the West bay Bar  – Power Supply – which is where they were when word reached them that there had been a shooting.

He said that he had heard about someone being shot and killed at 177 Birch Tree Hill Road as he received a call from a friend, and that it was a place where he had lived in the past and where he knew many people. Jeffers said he was concerned and explained that the telephone records that show him calling the crown’s witness that night was because he wanted to know if she had heard anything about who had been shot, as it was not until later that he learned it was Damion Ming.  He denied calling her to say Ming had been “touched up,” as claimed by the crown’s witness.

The defendant also told the court that he was not at the apartment in Ocean Club during the weekend after Ming’s killing, the place and time where she had told the court that Jeffers had confessed to her about the murder. He said on the night Ming was killed he had gone to another woman’s house in Prospect after he had been out with friends.

Following his evidence in chief, Jeffers faced cross examination from the crown. As a result of his decision to take the stand, the jury heard confirmation that Jeffers is already serving a life sentence having been convicted of murder, attempted murder of four others, and possession of an unlicensed firearm in another case, and other previous convictions for  violence. However, he emphatically denied being responsible for those crimes.
Andrew Radcliff QC for the prosecution will continue his cross examination of the defendant on Monday.

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