Defendant quizzed on blood-stained items

 

After telling
the court Thursday that he did not kill Brian Rankine Carter on 16 May, 2008,
defendant William Martinez McLaughlin answered questions Friday about items
recovered by police after the incident and analysed by experts.

McLaughlin
told the court he “just stood there froze” as he watched his co-worker, Jason
Hinds, chopping at Brian with a machete in an empty lot along McField Lane that
Friday night.

Justice
Charles Quin and the jury of 10 women and two men have heard evidence from
Hinds, who said McLaughlin did the killing. That evidence was given via a video
link with Jamaica.

Solicitor
General Cheryll Richards showed McLaughlin a white marina [man’s sleeveless
undershirt] recovered from the sea near High Rock. It had been tested for the
presence of blood, but the results were inconclusive. McLaughlin said, “I don’t
know who that for.” He agreed he wore a white marina under his work shirt the
day of the killing, but said Hinds did also. Shown a blue T-shirt said to be worn
by Hinds, he said Hinds wore the marina under the T-shirt, with the work shirt
on top.

Shown a
wallet, McLaughlin agreed it was his.

Forensic DNA
expert Dr. Jonathan Faris had obtained a partial DNA profile from a blood stain
on the wallet that matched Brian’s partial DNA profile to the extent that
selecting another unrelated individual at random in the Caribbean was one in
1.1 trillion. McLaughlin said he could not give an explanation for the presence
of the blood.

Asked about
the belt he was wearing when arrested, he agreed he had worn it that Friday
night. Ms Richards reminded him of evidence that there was a small stain of
human blood on the leather at the far end of the buckle. “Someone died in front
of me, ma’am. That’s the only explanation I can give you.”

He agreed he
had thrown his shoes into the bush after Hinds drove him to his home in East
End after the killing. He saw his shoes were full of blood when he got out of
the van. He told Hinds, “Look what you’ve done to my shoes”, and Hinds told him
he shouldn’t worry, just throw them into the bush. “I say I don’t have nothing
to do with this and this is dragging me into it”, so he did throw his shoes
away. Police found them days later.

Asked how he
got blood on his shoes, he said, “I was right there — a foot to a foot and a
half away from the man.”

McLaughlin
described what happened at McField Lane, saying Hinds and Brian grappled with
each other and fell. Then Hinds got up, went to the van and pulled out the
machete. He said Brian came around where he was and Hinds followed, swinging
the machete like he was in war. The first blow hit Brian across the neck: “He
just look for a second and drop… right in front of me.” Hinds continued
swinging the machete for two or three minutes, he estimated.

Hinds stopped, took Brian’s clothes off
and put them in a bag, rolled Brian over and kicked him, McLaughlin said. Then
Hinds looked up, crouched and ran to the van, started it and reversed out
toward the main road. McLaughlin said he looked around and saw three people on
a balcony. When he saw Hinds leaving him there, he ran to the van.   

He told the court he did not have any
explanation for his work hat being found under the foot of the deceased. He had
said he took his work shirt and hat off in the van when they were taking Brian
to George Town. When he was awakened, he probably put his hat on, but he
couldn’t say if he did or not.

Evidence about blood and DNA was agreed
on by the Crown and Defence. Items analysed included the shoes, T-shirt and
jeans worn by Hinds. They also had blood on them from which a partial DNA
profile was obtained that matched the partial profile of Brian Rankine Carter.

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