Video expert testifies in Estella case

Of 65 witnesses, 20 heard so far

Video images from cameras at the
Elgin Avenue branch of Cayman National Bank were shown in court on Tuesday
during trial of the two men accused of murdering Estella Scott Roberts on the
night of 10-11 October, 2008.

Solicitor General Cheryll Richards
has stated for the record that Kirkland Henry and Larry Prinston Ricketts are
both principals in the murder of Estella or else one is the principal and the
other an accessory.

Ms Richards said efforts had been
made to use Estella’s CNB debit card on 11 October and as late as 15 October.
By that time her burned out vehicle had been found in West Bay
with remains subsequently identified as the body of Estella.

Video images from the bank show an
ATM machine and a person approaching it and apparently trying to use it.

No comment about the video was made
by anyone except Chief Justice Anthony Smellie observing that the segment shown
had lasted about five minutes.

Video images forensic analyst Marla
Carroll told the court that two Royal Cayman Islands Police officers came to
her office in Plantation, Florida, and brought her a digital video
recorder. She downloaded the video into her own computer and no damage was caused
to the original or to the copy.

Ms Carroll said she enhanced the images
on the copy. She compared her process to the way a person adjusts a TV screen –
by bringing up brightness, increasing contrast and using a sharpening technique
to make contrast between dark and light more viewable.

She also received photographic
images taken by the RCIP of clothing and shoes.

Previously, Sgt. Marcia Codner told
the court she took photos of shirts, shoes and a cap police recovered from
Ricketts’ residence. One of the photos was of a cap with a dragon pattern.

Ms Carroll said she made four still
photographs from frames of the video and produced combined exhibits. Each had
her still photo from the video on the left and an RCIPS photo on the right. She
did not alter the RCIPS photo in any way except to crop it and orient it to the
same angle as an object appeared in the video still.

One exhibit was a full figure of a
person at an ATM machine and, to the right, the photo of a pair of shoes.

The second exhibit was her video
image showing a cap and the photo from police of a cap.

Another exhibit showed a full
figure with the shoes again, from a different angle, and a pair of shoes.

The fourth exhibit was a shirt sleeve
with a distinctive patch and, to the
right, a shirt sleeve photo taken by RCIPS.

On behalf of Henry, Ian Bourne QC
had no questions. Neither did Robert Fortune QC on behalf of Ricketts.

Of 65 potential witnesses whose
statements are part of the trial bundle, the court has so far heard from 20.
Nine have had their statements read into evidence, while 11 others have given
their evidence in person.

Since Tuesday afternoon, the Chief
Justice has been holding a voir dire, a special hearing to determine whether
certain material should be admitted as evidence. The hearing is in open court,
but details may not be published at this time.

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