The 12-member jury for the trial of Raziel Jeffers began their deliberations early Wednesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the jury heard closing speeches by crown prosecutor Andrew Radcliffe and defense counsel Michael Wolkind.
Jeffers concluded his evidence on Monday, denying he killed Damion Ming on March 25, 2010. On Friday, he told the court he had been convicted of murder in another matter, but that he did not do it.
Attorney Fiona Robertson read into evidence facts the prosecution and defense had agreed to, including that the weapon used to kill Mr. Ming had been used in the fatal shooting of Fabian Reid in Oct. 13, 2009; Mr. Ming’s gang associations; and threats made to him.
The agreed facts laid out brief details of three earlier gang-related killings. Among those was that on Sept. 10, 2009, Carlos Webster, associated with the West Bay Logwoods gang, was shot dead in Next Level nightclub. Devon Anglin, associated with the Birch Tree Hill gang, was convicted of his murder.
On October 13, 2009, Fabian Reid, associated with Birch Tree Hill and a known associate of Devon Anglin, was shot and killed. Seven shell casings related to the shooting of Mr. Reid were fired from the same firearm used to kill Mr. Ming, the evidence facts read by the attorney pointed out.
On March 24, 2010, Alrick Peddie, known as “Bling,” was shot dead. It was believed he was the security guard who let Devon Anglin into Next Level nightclub with a firearm on the night of Carlos Webster’s murder. Aaron Crawford, Roger Bush and Jose Sanchez, associated with Logwoods, were tried for his murder. They were found not guilty.
The court heard that Mr. Ming was known to associate with individuals linked to Logwoods and Sheldon Brown, who is currently serving a sentence for attempted murder.
At the time of his death, Mr. Ming had several convictions including being concerned in the importation of cocaine in 2006; being concerned in the possession of cocaine with intent to supply in 2008; accessory after the fact to robbery and two offenses of conspiracy to commit robbery. According to the agreed facts, Mr. Ming provided information to the police against his co-defendants, Bjorn Ebanks, Royce Cornwall and Damian Seymour in respect of armed robberies of Cayman National Bank and Foster’s Food Fair in West Bay in 2006.
The court heard that police received information regarding threats by Sheldon Brown to the safety of Mr. Ming and his family while he was in prison in 2007.
In his closing speech, Mr. Radcliffe emphasized telephone records and the evidence of Jeffers’ ex-girlfriend, who is not identified because she is a protected witness. This witness had told the court that Jeffers confessed to her that he had killed Mr. Ming. Mr. Radcliffe said the details she provided could have come only from the gunman, such as the caliber of gun used, how Mr. Ming spun around after being hit by one bullet and then being hit by another, and how he crawled under a boat trailer parked in the yard.
Mr. Wolkind argued that the ex-girlfriend could have heard details from someone who was in the house or yard at the time or from rumors. He suggested that her evidence was lies motivated by spite and greed because she had grudges against Jeffers and his family and was now receiving money from the police.
Mr. Radcliffe pointed out earlier that the ex-girlfriend was in a witness protection program; he said she was brave and, by being relocated to another country, had given up most of what people consider important. Her expenditure was monitored and she was expected to become self-sufficient.
As to phone evidence, Mr. Wolkind said records of how Jeffers’s cell phone moved “up and down the island” were consistent with his alibi of driving with friends to West Bay and back to a bar in George Town. Mr. Radcliffe suggested that Jeffers put forward his alibi only after he knew what the crown’s case was.