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Love rival attacked murder accused, witness says

A man accused of murder tried to defend himself against an attack by a love rival, a Supreme Court jury heard on Tuesday.

Cohen Lightbourne is on trial for the July 25, 2007 murder of Carl Russell at the home of a woman they both knew.

Yesterday, Vanessa Strachan told the jury that she was in bed with Lightbourne at her home in Pride Estates when Russell, a man she previously dated, barged into her bedroom and attacked her and Lightbourne.

Strachan said Russell hit Lightbourne who held up his hands to block the blows.

Lightbourne, a man Strachan had known for three months, told Russel l”everything cool” and he left, she said.

However, Russell continued his attack on Strachan, the mother of his daughter, the court heard. Strachan said Russell hit her in the head with an unknown object and choked her until she passed out.

Strachan recalled hearing a “bap” before she lost consciousness.

Russell was shot to death.

During cross-examination by defense lawyer V. Alfred Gray, Strachan said she had made previous complaints to police about Russell. Strachan said he had gun-butted her husband­ who was not named on several occasions.

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