Man freed after conflicting witness statements
Conflicting statements by a witness that the police told him to name a man as an accomplice in a murder resulted on Wednesday in Michael Forest, otherwise called “Buju”, labourer of a Windward Road address, Kingston 2 being freed of a murder charge.
Forest was freed after Supreme Court Judge Lennox Campbell upheld a no- case submission from defence lawyers Peter Champagnie and Ramona Nelson that the credibility of the sole eyewitness was damaged.
The Crown had led evidence at the trial in the Home Circuit Court that, about 10: 30 p. m., on October 4, 2008, Forest shot and killed Anthony Brown, labourer of a Windward Road address.
The witness testified that at the time of the incident he was on Windward Road when he saw Forest, who he knew before, firing shots at Brown.
Under cross- examination, the witness said he made a report to the police three weeks after he witnessed the murder. He was shown his statement in which he told the police that the accused and another man were involved in the murder and he had known the accomplice for more than 10 years.
The witness said he had not really seen the accomplice and it was the police who had told him to implicate him in the murder.
During cross- examination, defence lawyers called into court a a man with the alias name of the alleged accomplice.
The witness said he had told the police that the man was involved in the shooting.
He was shown his statement to the police in which he had referred to an accomplice.
The witness said during the incident he had only seen the side of the accused man’s face for five to ten seconds.
In making the no- case submission, defence lawyers said the witness was discredited under crossexamination and asked the judge to uphold the no- case submission and direct the jury to free Forest.