David Andrew Bodden, on trial for attempted murder, told a jury on Monday that he never meant to cut Blake Barrell on June 16, 2015 in downtown George Town.
“I was trying to hold Blake till police got there,” he said.
He gave an account of threats on his life in the days preceding June 16 and said he asked police for help numerous times. He said Mr. Barrell and another man had threatened him.
On the day of the incident, he was driving on Fort Street with two police officers following him in another vehicle so that he could take them to people who could give a statement about the discharge of a firearm on the night of June 8.
As he was driving, Mr. Barrell pulled up: “He gave me the gun finger two times,” Bodden said.
He said Mr. Barrell then noticed the police and sped off. Bodden said he hoped police would go after Mr. Barrell and hopefully find him with a gun. He was watching the police in his rearview mirror and decided he would try to catch Mr. Barrell. By the time he looked down again, he had crashed into Mr. Barrell’s car. “It happened so quick,” he said.
Commenting on CCTV being shown to the jury and Justice Charles Quin, Bodden said Mr. Barrell was overtaking a vehicle and Bodden ended up on the wrong side of the road because he was following him in case Mr. Barrell threw a gun out the window.
The CCTV showed Bodden’s Jeep Cherokee going into the side of Mr. Barrell’s car near the Admiral Building on Fort Street. Bodden said he only did that to stop Mr. Barrell because Mr. Barrell was trying to reverse out and leave the scene. “I wanted police to catch him,” he said.
When Mr. Barrell out of his car and ran, Bodden ran after him.
The defendant explained that the only reason he had a scalpel blade was because earlier in the day he had been at the laundromat washing his work clothes and street clothes. He had worked at a funeral home as an assistant mortician. When he was taking the clothes out of the washer to put in the dryer, he put the blade in his pants pocket.
While doing his laundry, he had been talking to police on the phone and an officer told him to come to the station, he explained. He took his clothes home and went to the station.
“You had the blade accidentally?” defense attorney Amelia Fosuhene asked. “Yes, ma’am,” Bodden replied.
She then asked why he had it when he got out of the car to chase Mr. Barrell. Bodden said the blade had stuck him in his groin, so he took it out of his pocket because it could seriously injure him.
Bodden said he was scared and did not know if Barrell was going to shoot him there, but he did not want him to get away or get rid of the firearm. When Bodden caught up with Mr. Barrell, he held him by the front of his shirt. Mr. Barrell was trying to throw him over, and Bodden’s head was down.
Police officers separated the men.
Bodden said he did not know Mr. Barrell was injured until a policeman told him.
Ms. Fosuhene asked if he intended to kill Mr. Barrell. Bodden said no, if he had any such intention, he knew where Mr. Barrell lived.
Asked if he intended to cause Mr. Barrell serious bodily harm, Bodden said no. “When he was trying to get out of his vehicle, I could have rammed my Jeep into him if I wanted to,” he added.
Senior crown counsel Elisabeth Lees was scheduled to begin cross-examining the defendant after the lunch adjournment.
Mr. Barrell gave his evidence last week via video link and described cuts to his neck and chest. He said he was in hospital 11 days.