The trial of three accused mass shooters got off to a contentious start yesterday with lawyers for the prosecution and defense accusing each other of misconduct.
Peter Rolle, Justin Williams and Jermaine Curry are accused of a 2013 shooting that left four dead and six others injured.
Prosecutors say that the men killed Claudezino Davis, Shaquille Demeritte, Eric Morrison and Shenique Sands and attempted to murder Chino Davis, Janet Davis, John Davis, Samuel Ferguson, Jermaine Pratt and Leroy Taylor during a drive-by shooting at the Fox Hill Park on December 27, 2013.
The men, who are on bail, have denied the charges at their trial before Justice Deborah Fraser.
In her opening statement to the jury, prosecutor Zoe Gibson said the prosecution intended to prove its case through the testimony of one of the persons who was in the car, the injured victims, family members of the deceased and investigating officers.
The prosecution’s first and only witness of the day was crime scene officer Corporal 1800 Navar Neely, whose testimony started smoothly.
He testified that on the instructions of Sergeant 527 Evans on December 28, 2013 he photographed a Honda car that had its ignition tampered with.
Neely said he found portions of the vehicle’s ignition system in the glove compartment and a screwdriver in the back seat. Neely said he checked for prints and lifted 17 impressions that were handed to Inspector Williams for analysis.
Neely also said he saw spent 9mm and .223 cartridges inside this car.
Defense lawyers Murrio Ducille, for Curry, and Geoffrey Farquharson, for Williams, objected to lead prosecutor Rodger Thompson asking the witness “leading questions” regarding the fingerprints.
Both Ducille and Farquharson questioned Thompson’s competence and a prosecutor and called him a “neophyte.”
Rolle’s attorney Sonia Timothy objected when Thompson asked the witness if her client’s prints were found in the vehicle since he was not responsible for the print identification.
The lawyers also objected to the entering of a photo album showing images of the car without the officer first producing the memory card from his digital camera that was used to generate the CD from which the images were printed.
Ducille said, “Without a root, you cannot have a tree—at least a live tree. Without the memory card, we cannot have a CD. And my learned friend ought to know that as a prosecutor.”
Thompson complained, “Mr. Ducille is making a legal submission in front of the jury, which is improper, and he knows it.
Ducille said, “All he has to do is bring the memory card.”
Addressing Thompson, he said, “Why are you shaking your head? Why don’t you go and be the judge?”
Thompson once again complained about remarks by Ducille.
Farquharson said that in “legal terms, Ducille was old enough to be [Thompson’s] pa.”
The album was eventually admitted.
Neely continues his testimony today.