Court visits scene of fatal shooting

Justice Charles Quin went to Miss Daisy Lane in West Bay on Wednesday morning to see for himself the place where Solomon David Webster was fatally shot on the night of Sept. 7, 2014. 

Jose Guadelupe Sanchez is accused of murdering Mr. Webster; he chose to be tried by judge alone and his trial began last Friday.  

The site visit was a formal court session, attended by a clerk, marshal, court reporter, defense and prosecuting attorneys, the defendant in wrist and ankle cuffs, three prison officers, two Uniform Support Group officers carrying sidearms and what appeared to be tasers. Several detectives in plainclothes, who served as drivers for the eight-vehicle convoy, were also present. 

Street clothes were worn instead of gowns and wigs. 

No photographs of the scene were permitted, although a television camera was allowed to stay a specified distance away. The police helicopter was in the area, close enough to keep watch but far enough away so that people who spoke at the scene could hear each other. 

As the group assembled in the narrow lane, several residents approached to ask if they could walk or drive past. They were immediately given permission. One neighbor offered her yard for parking. 

The police officer who had submitted photographs of the scene took the group around the yard where the shooting occurred and pointed out where various items had been recovered and where stains resembling blood had been seen after the shooting. The positions of street and yard lights were noted. 

Defense counsel Mark Heywood asked about lines of sight from various points. Three residents sat in the yard, quietly observing as the group walked around the 10 buildings in the compound. 

A second detective led the group to the rear of the compound and pointed out an area of bush from which he had recovered a firearm – the Colt Commander pistol from which the fatal bullet was fired. 

The group then proceeded to a yard next door. Witnesses have told the court how a struggle between the defendant, Mr. Webster and a third man began in one yard and carried into the other. 

The group returned to the courthouse, where proceedings continued.