Anglin awaits verdict in murder trial

Defendant elected not to give evidence

The trial of Devon Anglin, accused of murdering Carlo Webster at the Next Level Night Club in September 2009, reachedclosing speeches on Thursday, when Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said he would take time to consider his verdict. The Grand Court calendar for this week does not show any listing for Anglin to return before Christmas. 

Anglin chose to be tried by judge alone. He also chose not to give evidence after the chief justice ruled there was a case for him to answer. Defence attorney Dorian Lovell-Pank said it was agreed that the only issue was identification. Anglin was at the club that night and by his plea of not guilty he had said he did not shoot Webster, so there was nothing for him to add, the attorney said. 

He said the question was not, Who was the gunman? The question was, Had the Crown made the judge feel sure that the gunman was Devon Anglin? 

The trial, which began on 1 December, involved the evidence of two witnesses who gave their evidence anonymously from a remote location, with only the judge seeing them by video link. Only he and the court stenographer heard each witness’ natural voice by means of earphones. Other people in court, including attorneys, heard an electronically modulated voice. 

The trial also involved closed-circuit television camera technology, since 11 cameras were in and around the night club premises, some showing black and white images, some colour and the one in the main bar area showing infrared. None of the cameras showed the shooting. A forensic video analyst gave evidence of his findings from the camera data. 

One of the security guards at the night club told the court that, close to the time of the shooting – seconds after 1.30am – there were around 300 people in the club. The shooting took place in an area leading to and from the men’s restroom and to the side of the dance floor. 

Only one person gave evidence of seeing the shooting. In August this year, Justice Charles Quin granted a witness anonymity order for this person and one other. They were subsequently referred to as Witness B and Witness E, with no specific reference to gender. The Caymanian Compass has used masculine pronouns for both throughout all reports. 

Just before the close of the Crown’s case, conducted by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards, the defence applied for a lifting of the anonymity orders. The chief justice considered the matter but denied the application last week. The defence argued there was no case to answer and the chief justice also rejected that submission. 

In summarising the Crown’s case, Ms Richards pointed to the positive identification by Witness B of Anglin as the person he saw shoot Webster three times. Witness B said he had known Anglin for 10 years. 

Witness E did not know Anglin, but described a man walking past him after the shooting and putting a gun in his pants waist. CCTV analyst Grant Fredericks identified that man as Anglin. 

Ms Richards said any inconsistencies in evidence did not go to the heart of the matter.  

Mr. Lovell-Pank pointed to what he called serious contradictions in the evidence of Witnesses B and E. For example, Witness E had said after the shooting the man with the gun left the club by the main door. Witness B, however, said he saw Anglin exit through a door near the VIP Lounge, which was on the other side of the building. 

Witness B had said Carlo Webster went toward the male restroom, but did not go in because a girl stopped him to talk. But a camera over the door of the male restroom showed that Carlo Webster was inside there for some five minutes. Mr. Lovell-Pank questioned how closely Witness B had truly been watching. 

The attorney criticised Mr. Fredericks, the video analyst, for not considering height when tracking the image he said was Devon Anglin. Witnesses had described him as 5 feet 3 inches or 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches, but after his arrest police measured him as 5 feet 9 inches. Mr. Fredericks had said he identified Anglin by details of his clothing and jewellery and no one else had the same ensemble. Mr. Lovell-Pank argued not all details of the ensemble were visible in the most significant images. 

Along with the murder charge, Anglin is accused of possession of an unlicensed firearm and the attempted murder of Chris Edward Solomon. Mr. Solomon told the court he and Carlo Webster were at a West Bay bar before they went to Next Level. Around the time of the shooting, “I wasn’t drunk, but I was getting there,” he said. 

Mr. Solomon said he did not know who shot him – in fact, he did not even know he had been shot until he started feeling dizzy and went outside. Then he felt his side and saw blood. 

The Crown’s case was that one of the bullets fired went through Mr. Webster and hit Mr. Solomon. Rather than wounding or causing grievous bodily harm, the charge arising could be attempted murder on the basis of transferred malice.