Jeffers’ ex describes tangled gang relationships

| 11/08/2014

(CNS): Admitting to being a “wild child” in her youth, the crown’s key witness stood firm under cross examination as Brian O'Neill, QC, tried to paint her as the “Logwood Princess”, which she has on a tattoo, and an unreliable witness. Meagan Martinez gave evidence that Raziel Jeffers told her about the plan he had to get some of his ‘soldiers’ from the Birch Tree Hill gang to rob numbers man, Marcos Mauricio Duran, on Thursday 11 March 2010 in an armed stick-up in Maliwinas Way, and later told her how he had died. Martinez roundly defended her past, admitting without hesitation that she had been around guns and gangs since she was 13 years old, but repeatedly refused to accept that she was “devious”, only that as an abandoned child she had been “angry” and “troubled”.

Answering questions from the defence, Martinez agreed that in her testimony she was repeating what had happened during the shootout according to what Jeffers had told her, and he had probably got the story from Craig Johnson the day after the incident as they cleaned Jordan Manderson’s blood off the getaway car. Furthermore, since Johnson was the driver and waiting in the car when it happened, he most likely was repeating what he had been told by one of the other three young men said to be involved, O’Neill suggested and Martinez agreed.

The “Logwoods Princess” tattoo on her leg was a tribute to Robert Bush, a member of the rival gang. Her relationship with Bush had started when she was about 15 and she had “loved him to the end”, she said. However, she also said she had loved Jeffers and did not want them to kill each other and had once begged Bush not to hurt Jeffers, the father of her baby. She also admitted to having a relationship with Damion Ming, who had been involved with drugs and guns but, she claimed he was not part of either gang but “played in the middle”, which, she said, "does not work".

Asked by the defence, she said she remembered being in bed with Robert Bush one night when his house was shot up and she was grazed by one of the bullets.

But when she was with Jeffers, part of the Birch Tree Hill gang, she said that when Andy Barnes, a Logwoods member, had threatened to throw the baby she had for Jeffers into the air and shoot it, she took it seriously because his child had recently been killed.

She also admitted lying to the police about an incident when, she said, Andy Barnes and another man had been outside a house that she and Jeffers and their baby were in and had pointed a gun first at the dog and then at the building. She said that Jeffers had seen them from the window but would not tell that to the police, so she had told them that she had seen the two men because she was afraid for her child.

After the Maliwinas Way shooting, she admitted telling her social worker that she believed that someone was after her to get at Jeffers. It was part of the cover story (that the robbery had been carried out by the Logwoods gang), she said.

Martinez admitted that she had smoked ganja, had had underage sex, had frequently run away from the Francis Bodden Girls’ Home in her youth and had lied to social workers on numerous occasions. She also admitted to anger issues, having stabbed Jeffers in the knee with a pen on one occasion. “I don’t deny any of the issues I have,” Martinez said.

Martinez is now in the witness protection programme in another country and she admitted receiving $100,000 in living and medical expenses over the last four years, but said the enormous stress of this case had brought her close to a nervous breakdown and she was worried what would happen to her young child if that happened. She had loved Jeffers, she said, but was adamant that she was now telling the truth for the sake of her young child.

“It’s not about getting back at him and not a vendetta. It’s about getting to the truth,” she told the court. She said the situation was “not my son’s fault”, adding, “People must take responsibility for their actions.”

She said that Jeffers “never expected me to do anything or to fight back”. She had thought that Jeffers was powerful and “for a long time that worked; I was frightened. But now I see that he is pathetic, now I see he is just as frightened as all the rest.”

The case continues in Grand 'Court Monday.

Related stories on CNS:

'Numbers man' murder trial

Robbery went horribly wrong

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