Amid the squawking of feral chickens and the barking of a junk yard dog, Grand Court convened Wednesday in the unusual confines of a cramped Scranton back alley.
Swapping the sober surroundings of the courthouse for the parking lots, scrap land and alleyways around the Globe Bar, the court moved, en masse, to the scene of the murder of 20-year-old Jason Powery in central George Town.
As armed police officers stood guard at every entryway to the area, witness Jerome Hurlston, clad in a bulletproof vest, pointed out the key locations referred to in his testimony.
The two defendants, brothers Osbourne Douglas and Justin Ramoon, each with their hands and feet shackled, and flanked by a pair of prison guards, were among an entourage of lawyers, court staff and reporters in attendance for the crime-scene walkthrough.
Led by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards, Mr. Hurlston demonstrated where he and other witnesses had been standing when he says he saw his friend, Mr. Powery, shot in the face at point-blank range by Ramoon.
Justice Charles Quin, who is presiding over the judge-alone trial, wore a suit and Panama hat as he surveyed the scene.
Graffiti adorned the walls of the buildings around the bar; “Thug Life,” “Make dat money,” “RIP Chunks” … “Life, Love, Liberty.”
A small crowd of onlookers stood some distance from the action. Two workmen sat under a blue tarpaulin at the back of the bar, temporarily downing tools to allow the proceedings to take place. A dog, straining at a chain on top of a scrap car, barked continuously in the background.
Mr. Hurlston spoke only to illustrate elements of the testimony he gave Tuesday, showing where he had been standing at various points on the night of the shooting.
He has testified that he clearly saw Ramoon shoot his friend at point-blank range on July 1 last year.