Retrial follows appeal of acquittal in first trial
The parents of 4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes named Devon Anglin as the gunman who shot their son at the Hell Service Station on the night of Feb. 15, 2010.
Andy Barnes, the Crown’s first witness in the murder trial, began his evidence on Wednesday and finished on Thursday morning. His wife, Dorlisa Ebanks Barnes, began her evidence Thursday.
The fatal shooting took place after the family stopped for fuel on their way to pick up a pizza. The parents were in the front seats; Jeremiah was behind his father, who was driving; his 6-year-old brother sat behind their mother.
The Crown’s case is that Mr. Barnes was the intended target; Anglin is charged with attempted murder as well as the murder of Jeremiah, and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Mrs. Barnes said Anglin’s most distinctive feature was “a cock eye.” She said she is older than he is, but she has known him from the time they both attended the same primary school. After school days, she continued to know him through his family and from seeing him in the community.
On the night of the shooting, after Mr. Barnes had pumped gas and got back into the car, she saw Anglin come around the corner of the station’s retail shop. She said she saw him with a gun in his right hand and he was using his left hand to bring something up to mask his face. The lighting was good, there was no obstruction and she recognized him immediately.
In his evidence, Mr. Barnes also referred to Anglin’s eyes. He said he knew Anglin had “a bad eye” from when he was younger. He indicated that he had known Anglin almost all of his life; they had been friends and had ridden motorbikes together.
Mr. Barnes said the friendship cooled after he moved from the Birch Tree Hill area, where Anglin lived, to the Logwoods area. They ceased being friends after Mr. Barnes’s best friend, Carlo Webster, was murdered in September 2009. Anglin has since been convicted of Webster’s murder and is serving a sentence of life imprisonment.
Cross-examined by defense counsel David Fisher, Mr. Barnes agreed that the shooting was sudden and frightening. He agreed that, upon seeing the gunman, he had moved around in the driver’s seat to avoid getting shot and trying to push his children down so they would be out of the way.
But he disagreed when Mr. Fisher suggested that he “only got a glimpse” of the gunman because of the way he was moving. Mr. Barnes asserted, “It was not a fleeting glance.”
The defense attorney referred to statements Mr. Barnes made to police on the night of the shooting and afterward, his deposition in Summary Court, and his evidence in the first trial.
The first trial, by judge alone, ended in a not guilty verdict. The Crown appealed and the Court of Appeal overturned that verdict and ordered a retrial.
Mr. Fisher asked about inconsistencies and contradictions. For example, Mr. Barnes initially had said he saw Anglin in a Honda Accord that pulled into the gas station as he was getting ready to leave. After several exchanges and intervention by Justice Charles Quin, Mr. Barnes accepted that he only saw two shapes and he had assumed one was Anglin because he knew the owner of the car and knew that Anglin was his cousin.
Mr. Fisher also questioned what Mr. Barnes had said about the gunman’s clothing. He initially said the gunman wore a black jacket and black jeans. He later accepted that the jacket was green. Mr. Fisher suggested he was attributing to the gunman clothing he said he had seen Anglin wearing earlier in the day.
Mr. Barnes said he might have made a mistake with his colors, “but I’m not blind to who shot my son.”
He had also described the gunman as wearing a black tam; later he said it was a bandana and then he said it could have been two bandanas. Re-examined by crown prosecutor Andrew Radcliffe, he acknowledged that he could not say if it was one or two bandanas he saw, but he knew it was a bandana the gunman was pulling up from his chin to over the bridge of his nose.
He said he could see the skin color around the eyes and the look in his eyes.
Mr. Fisher also questioned Mr. Barnes about his own background. The witness said he had been involved in drug dealing and he agreed that it was dangerous. “The dealer could get robbed and killed … That’s why I’m out of the game,” he told the court.
Mr. Barnes also confirmed that he had been shot at more than once; he had been wounded once, but the man he named as the shooter had been found not guilty.