Jury asked to return ‘just’ verdict of guilty in murder trial

first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Share 158 Views   2 commentscenter_img LocalNews Jury asked to return ‘just’ verdict of guilty in murder trial by: – May 23, 2012 David St. JeanState attorney Clement Joseph has asked a nine member jury to return a “just” verdict; one he said should be guilty in the murder trial of Clement James of Good Hope.It is the prosecution’s contention that on 20th September, 2010 David St. Jean “fatally stabbed” Clement James on the Indian River Bridge.Joseph told the jurors that there is “no dispute that James died of a stab wound which St. Jean admitted that he inflicted”.According to him, the star witness of the case who he identified to be David St Jean “told us that he took a knife from the deceased, however fanciful that might sound, and he made lashes at his hand. We heard him say that he was defending himself but there must be an attack”.Joseph told the jurors who appeared to be very attentive, that Clement James was a “human being full of life on September 20, 2010. We heard allegations and innuendos that he was a homosexual. So what? We heard allegations that he was HIV positive but the pathologist didn’t conduct a test to prove that. We heard Dr. Francois testify that James her he was HIV positive, but would that have made him less of a human being? Did St. Jean have a right to cause his death even if it is said that everybody must die?”He also sought to address an issue raised by defence counsel Wayne Norde during cross examination.“We heard much talk about Vernon Matthew because he waited ten months before coming forward to give evidence, but we have cases that remain unsolved for years, so if a witness comes forward should we refuse him? Ladies and gentlemen we hope to see Mr. Matthew on the 3rd of November receiving a meritorious award”.Joseph also noted that although Norde sought to question sergeant John Carbon who recorded St. Jean’s statement in the absence of an independent witness, claimed that this was not an issue.Clement James, lying in a pool of blood on the Indian River Bridge on 20th September, 2010. Phto credit: Inside PossieHe read the statement which St. Jean gave to Carbon without an independent witness on 21st of September, 2010 the day after the incident, and also read the unsworn statement that St. Jean read in Court on Friday 18th May, 2012, highlighting to the jury that the statements were “identical”.Joseph told the jurors that St Jean had assisted them in determining who stabbed Clement James but a critical aspect is why was he stabbed?“I’ll tell you why he stabbed him. He said; “From growing up in Glanvillia, I heard he was gay. I remember telling the police he was holding his crotch, he was licking his lips and he was looking at me”. That is why Clement James was stabbed”.Joseph further told the jurors that he would have turned and left but “St. Jean crossed the road and went to warn him, what you warning him about? As a result of feeling disrespected Clement James is a dead man”.According to Joseph, “From 160 feet away a man grabbed his crotch, looked at you, licked his lips, you crossed the bridge and confronted him. After your crossed 160 feet to attack a man that looked at you, you stabbed him fatally and then say you were defending yourself?”Joseph told the jurors to return a verdict of guilty because “to leave 160 feet and defend yourself against a stare that is not a defence, there was no provocation”.Defence counsel Bernadette Lambert however told the jury that they “cannot return a guilty verdict” because there are “too many inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case” and that they “did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt”.Lambert told the jury that they “cannot believe” the prosecution’s star witness Vernon Matthew differing from state attorney Clement Joseph that her client was the star witness, as Matthew’s evidence was filled with “untruths, inconsistencies and lies”.She direction to Matthew who waited ten months to come forward with his statement, after discussing the trial during the preliminary inquiry stage at the magistrate’s court with his “very good friend” Martin James the brother of Clement James.She continued that Matthew was also “left alone in a room in the Portsmouth Police Station” with the case file which includes all the evidence and statements pertaining to the trial, “before he had given his statement” and that he had used “police parlance” like “in a northerly direction, a scuffle and what appeared to be blood” in his statement, implying that he was assisted by the police.Lambert also sought to discredit Matthew as a witness claiming that Carlos Edward who was also a witness for the prosecution but was unable to attend the trial as he died last month, never said in his evidence that he saw Matthew anywhere on the scene.According to her, Edwards’ evidence supports the defence’s case that St. Jean was defending himself.“He said the first person he head quarrelling and arguing was the deceased [Clement James] and he saw the deceased holding onto the accused [David St. Jean] shirt by his collar and the accused was trying to get away from the deceased,” Lambert read from Edwards’ evidence during the preliminary inquiry. Lambert also told the jurors that sergeant Carbon “flouted good police practice” when he recorded the statement from St. Jean without an independent witness and sough to “rush his investigations” despite the fact that he had “a 72 hour window” in which to do so.According to her, St. Jean maintained that he was defending himself and the area where James was stabbed, on his left shoulder, is consistent with this defence because if St. Jean “intended” to kill James he would have stabbed him on another part of his body where the “major organs” are located.She said an essential aspect of murder is “intention” and that St. Jean did not intend to kill James.“St. Jean must not and cannot be the only one held accountable for the death of Clement James. We might be slow in admitting that James died because of the stigma attached to being HIV positive. He died because of the delay in receiving medical attention; there was a serious neglect of James on that day,” she said. She pleaded with the jurors that they should not feel “sympathetic” for anyone including her client in reaching a verdict, but that they are to consider all the facts and evidence which was presented to them in court.“I challenge you that if you consider the evidence fairly and justly then the only logical and correct verdict is to find the accused not guilty of murder,” she concluded.Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks addressed the jury on the legal aspects of the case and they have retired to the jury room to deliberate.They can return a verdict of either guilty or not guilty of murder, or guilty of manslaughter. Dominica Vibes News Sharelast_img read more