Jury deliberates Jeffers’ fate

| 03/04/2014

(CNS): The five women and seven men serving on the jury in the trial of Raziel Jeffers for the murder of Damion Ming in a Birch Tree Hill yard in March 2010 will return to their deliberations Thursday morning following their release by the judge at around 4:30pm today, after three hours in the jury room. Justice Malcom Swift sent the jury to deliberate at 1:30pm on Wednesday afternoon following his own four hour summary and direction to them about the two week trial. Summing up the narrative of the evidence presented by the crown against Jeffers and the defence’s response to it, the judge told the jury that they would have to decide on the truth.

Having directed them on the law, the judge summed up the details of the crown’s evidence against Jeffers, which is based largely on an alleged confession he had made to his girlfriend and the crown’s key witness the weekend after the shooting, corroborated, the prosecution says, by the expert telephone and cell site evidence, as well as the medical, ballistic and other witness evidence.

Jeffers' motive was said to be a combination of gang rivalry and jealousy, fuelled by an affair that he believed his girlfriend was having with Ming, whom he considered an enemy in the West Bay gang world.

However, the judge also noted to the jury that the defence says that the crown’s witness is nothing more than a lying vengeful disgruntled ex-girlfriend profiting from witness protection by making up the allegations, and that the cell and telephone evidence is also perfectly consistent with Jeffers alibi and the alleged corroboration about her details of the killing were all the subject of rumour and conjecture on the street within hours of the murder.

Reminding the jurors that they must be sure the defendant is guilty before convicting, the judge directed the foreman to ensure deliberations were conducted in an orderly fashion and each juror was given a chance to contribute. Justice Swift also said that they must seek to return with a unanimous verdict.

At around 4:15 the jurors sent a note to the court seeking clarification on an element of complex cell phone site evidence and the judge used the opportunity to call the jurors back to the courtroom and dismiss them for the evening, explaining that he would address their issue in the morning when they recommence their deliberations. He gave them strict instructions not to discuss the case with anyone and not to speak to each other until they were all together again on Thursday morning.

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Category: Crime

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