Crown witness accused of lying

Defense attorneys this week pointed to “inconsistencies and contradictions” in evidence given by the crown witness in a trial involving four defendants charged with robbing the WestStar Television Centre in May 2012.

Witness Marlon Dillon, who was cross-examined Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday, named David Tamasa, Andre Burton and George Mignott as the robbers, with Ryan Edwards as the man who provided a getaway vehicle.

Howard Hamilton, representing Edwards, asked Dillon if he was lying to protect anyone and Dillon replied he was speaking the truth.

Mr. Hamilton referred to a statement in which Dillon said that, after the robbery, he drove the three robbers to a George Town yard so that Tamasa could return a borrowed gun. The statement said they sat in the yard under a tent for a while and there were present “two other Jamaicans I had not seen before.”

Dillon told the court he did not see two other Jamaicans and he had subsequently amended the statement. Mr. Hamilton suggested that if two Jamaican men were part of the robbery, then two of the defendants were not part of it.

The attorney asked how that information got into the statement if Dillon didn’t say it – did the police officer interviewing him put it in? Dillon replied, “It’s not true. There were no two Jamaicans under the tent with us.”

Asked if he were afraid of Jamaican gunmen, Dillon answered, “Which human being on Earth is not going to be afraid of gunmen?”

Nicholas Hoffman, representing Mignott, asked Dillon about the vehicles he identified as being used for the robbery.

Dillon earlier told the court that he gave the men a lift into George Town from West Bay. He said they went to Edwards’ yard off Godfrey Nixon Way, where one passenger got out, obtained keys from Edwards and then drove Edwards’ RVR.

Dillon said he then drove the other three men to a parking lot off Schoolhouse Road, where the men were going to get into the RVR to go to WestStar. When they returned from the robbery in the RVR, they were to get into a white panel van driven by Edwards as the “switch” driver.

However, Dillon continued, when he drove into the parking lot, he did not see Edwards’ van. He asked Tamasa, who told him there was a change of plans and Dillon would have to wait for them and drive them away after the RVR returned from the robbery.

Mr. Hoffman had Dillon look at CCTV footage that he said showed his Chevy Equinox turning into Schoolhouse Road. The next clip shows an RVR making the same turn. Thirty seconds later a white van makes the same turn.

Mr. Hoffman asked Dillon if he was saying that the three vehicles went through the same junction, but the white van never arrived. Dillon replied that he didn’t say that. He did not recall Tamasa getting any phone call, but maintained Tamasa told him “change of plans,” so he followed instructions.

After the robbery, CCTV footage shows a car Dillon said was his approaching Eastern Avenue from Schoolhouse Road. A white panel van pulls up in the lane next to it.

Mr. Hoffman indicated that Dillon’s story did not make sense. He suggested that Dillon and Edwards were involved in the robbery and Dillon had named people who were innocent. Dillon said he knew who he picked up in West Bay and brought to George Town.

James Curtis, who represents Tamasa, took Dillon through his various statements to police and asked him about corrections he made. He pointed out that Dillon had told police that Tamasa told him to hang around town and then, a half hour later, he got a phone call from Tamasa telling him to pick up Tamasa, Burton and Mignott. But when phone records showed no such call, Dillon told police there wasn’t a phone call, it was an appointment.

Dillon said sometimes he signed statements that he didn’t read all the way through because he was exhausted. He said some of the statements the police put in their own words, so he had to correct what he didn’t say.

The trial continues.