Closing arguments given in Jerome Johnson murder trial

A jury heard closing arguments in the trial of Jerome Johnson on Wednesday.

Johnson, 33, is charged with murder for the 2018 shooting death of Gordon “Hog” Newbold outside his unfinished building on Acklins Street.

Newbold identified Johnson, who lived across the street, as his shooter, to two policemen before an ambulance took him to hospital, and to his sister inside the hospital’s trauma room.

Prosecutor Darnell Dorsette urged the jury to treat Newbold’s dying declaration on April 11, 2018, as a “solemn oath between God and man”.

Dorsette said that Newbold was crying out for justice in his final words to his sister, Patrice Newbold, at the hospital, and to police officers Desir Bien and Akeem Wilson on the scene.

She said Newbold had an opportunity to see who shot him as the pathologist said he had been shot from the front.

Johnson’s lawyer, Wayne Munroe, QC, said investigating officer Corporal Raphael Miller failed to investigate Johnson’s alibi and also neglected to locate Newbold’s fiancée who was on the scene of the shooting.

Despite this, Munroe said he found her earlier this year when he charged her with hiring men to kill another man who was alleged to be responsible for Newbold’s death.

Munroe pointed out that there was no way to confirm that Newbold really named his killer.

He said that both officers, who were acting in the execution of their duties, failed to use their phones, with which they called an ambulance, to record Newbold’s supposed last words.

Munroe said the prosecution’s case relied on “duncy policemen” who didn’t have the sense to use their phones, as the average Bahamian did whenever anything happened.

Johnson, on the other hand, was able to produce a cell phone photo taken by his girlfriend that placed him on Oxford Avenue at 10:20 a.m., around the time the prosecution alleges the murder took place.

Police phone analyst Sergeant 1492 Dale Strachan, who was called as a rebuttal witness, said there was an app that allowed you to change the geotagging on photos.

However, upon examining the phone, Strachan could not say whether the app had ever been installed or deleted.

Munroe said that if the photo details had been altered, it would have made sense to place him farther from the scene.

Johnson also called two witnesses who confirmed Johnson pulled up through Acklins Street after Newbold had been shot.

Munroe said police failed to test Johnson’s hand and clothing for gunshot residue, although it was suggested by the defendant.

Justice Bernard Turner is expected to turn the case over to the jury today.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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