No motive identified in East End shooting

Crown’s case could finish on Friday

No motive has been put forward for the fatal shooting of Asher McGaw in East End on the night of 21-22 September, 2011. 

Justice Alexander Henderson began hearing evidence on Monday in the trial of Chakane Jameile Scott, who is charged with Asher’s murder. 

After Trevor Ward, deputy director of Public Prosecutions, opened the case, the judge asked him if the Crown had a theory as to motive for the killing. Mr. Ward replied that nothing had emerged.  

Asher’s friend, Antascio Rankine, told the court on Monday that he saw Chakane, known as CJ, shoot Asher, but he did not know the reason for Asher’s death. He said Asher was his best friend, but all three were friends. Antascio was 17 at the time, Asher was 21, and CJ was 18. 

As previously reported, Antascio’s evidence was that the three of them went to the East End dock to get a flare gun from his father’s boat; he and Asher went out in a smaller boat to get it while CJ waited on the dock, Questioned by defence counsel Sasha Wass on Tuesday, Antascio agreed that Asher wanted the flare gun for his own protection. He explained that the two of them “almost got ganged” previously, when about six people had rushed them. No other details were given. 

Ms Wass asked about another trial that was in the air at that time concerning a robbery at Barefoot Beach. She suggested that Antascio knew Asher had made a statement to police about it. Antascio said he heard, but he didn’t know if it was true. Asked if Asher had named various people, the witness said he did not know. 

Previously, Antascio had mentioned that he was on curfew in September 2011 and he agreed with Ms Wass that he was on bail for wounding. She asked if the thought it would help his wounding case if he were a witness in this case. He said no.  

He agreed he wanted to help police; he disagreed that he told them what they wanted to hear. 

Re-examined by Mr. Ward, Antascio said he did not tell police in his first statement that he had witnessed the murder because he couldn’t think and he was in fear. Asked what led him to tell them everything later the same evening, he replied, “I couldn’t hold it in any more.”  

Mr. Ward has already revealed that Asher was shot with .38 calibre bullets, but no firearm has been recovered. Police officers on patrol found Asher around 3am in the vicinity of the East End clinic, which is off John McLean Drive, where Asher and Antascio lived across the road from each other. They and CJ had gone to the clinic grounds because Asher wanted to shoot off the flare gun.  

Justice Henderson is hearing the matter without a jury, as the defendant elected. By close of proceedings on Tuesday, he had heard from Antascio, a police sergeant and two civilian witnesses.  

Two more witnesses were scheduled to give evidence in person on Wednesday and then Mr. Ward expected to read into evidence statements the defence is not challenging. The pathologist who conducted the autopsy in this matter was said to be available to give evidence on Friday. Mr. Ward indicated the Crown’s case might finish on Friday. 

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