Mon | Aug 10, 2020

Main witness recalled in King Valley Gang trial

Published:Saturday | July 4, 2020 | 12:29 AMDanae Hyman/Staff Reporter

Attorney-at-law Everton Bird was yesterday granted permission to have the main witness recalled to be cross-examined on new inconsistencies which he discovered during the Westmoreland-based King Valley Gang trial.

The attorney got the go-ahead after being chided by Chief Justice Bryan Sykes for not reading the disclosed evidence in its entirety at the beginning of the proceedings.

Pointing out that Bird was given enough time to read through the evidence and cross-examine the witness, Sykes argued that there is a process in the way a trial is conducted.

“This is inefficiency of the highest order. I cannot understand how a lawyer can display this level of inefficiency. You have been on this case from God knows how long,” Sykes said in an annoyed tone.

According to Bird, the witness, a self-proclaimed former member of the gang whose name will not be used owing to a court order, said in one statement that he was not at the location when the house of a now deceased member of the gang called ‘Nah Laugh’ was razed and his mother’s house shot up. However, in evidence provided to the court, the witness had said that he was there.

“I wish to indicate to the court that counsel has stumbled on a statement that was given by (witness’ name removed) to superintendent (name removed) and the evidence in the statement is contrary to what was given about what happened at Cornpiece and Nah Laugh’s house.”

The trial started on January 14.

Bird said that based on the statement given, both incidents happened in the same community during a similar time period.

Sykes made arrangements for the witness to return on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The former gangster will testify via video link at an undisclosed location.

Lindell Powell, Carlington Godfrey, Rannaldo McKennis, Christon Grant, Derval Williams, Hopeton Sankey are on trial for breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, commonly called the anti-gang legislation, in relation to crimes committed between 2016 and 2018.