A man who was sentenced to 34 years in prison for shooting his neighbor will remain behind bars after he lost his appeal on Thursday.
Neil Ingraham, whose nickname is Turtle, was convicted of the May 29, 2014 attempted murder of Brandon “Blunt” Duncombe.
Prosecutors alleged that Ingraham, while wearing a black hoodie and armed with a handgun, accosted Duncombe as he walked home around 11 p.m.
During the struggle that followed, the hoodie fell off of Ingraham’s head, which enabled Duncombe to identify the gunman who shot him six times.
After his release from hospital, Duncombe selected Ingraham as the shooter on an identification parade.
Ingraham denied the accusation at trial. He called Devaughn “Popeye” Woodside as a witness.
Woodside claimed he saw a man known as Par-gay-lar with a handgun and a hoodie in the area around the time of shooting. Woodside did not witness the shooting but said he heard gunshots. However, he never provided this information to police during their inquiries.
Ingraham sought leave to appeal his conviction out of time on the basis that the trial judge did not warn the jury of the danger of relying on identification evidence and that the judge did not point out all discrepancies to the jury.
In its ruling, the court said that the judge “clearly gave warnings about the reliability of identification evidence and the need for caution even in the case of recognition.”
Regarding the discrepancies, Duncombe said the assailant had a shotgun, however, police officers recovered spent 9mm cartridges from the scene.
Addressing this, the judge told the jury, “It is a question for you whether you heard him say a shotgun or a short gun.”
None of Duncombe’s witness statements to police said that he had seen the shooter’s face.
In his testimony, Duncombe said that he saw “fire” from the gun after he “played dead”.
The court said it appeared that defense attorneys believed that if a judge failed to point out all material discrepancies to a jury, the conviction would be quashed.
“Discrepancies in evidence and credibility of witnesses are matters for the jury.
“The jury has heard the evidence and once the judge gives the necessary warnings as to how to treat discrepancies, and when the case involves identification evidence, the necessary caution as to how to treat and consider identification evidence, it is then for the jury to assess the evidence and determine whether it is satisfied with the guilt of the accused.
“This was done in this case and the jury was clearly satisfied on the evidence.”
Justices of Appeal Sir Michael Barnett, Stella Crane-Scott and Roy Jones heard the appeal.
Public defender James Thompson represented Ingraham and Terry Archer appeared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.