The Crown’s case against four people was summed up on Friday by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran, who described events in which two men were assaulted and shots were fired outside a West Bay Road premises.
Daniel Alexander Bennett and Carlney Campbell were assaulted. A bullet fired at Mr. Bennett missed him, but a bullet fired at Mr. Campbell struck him in the shoulder.
The incident occurred on the night of Feb. 3-4 in the vicinity of Fete Night Club.
As a result, Tashika Mothen is charged with making a threat to kill.
With her husband, Malik Mothen, she is charged with assault causing actual bodily harm to Mr. Bennett as well as attempting to cause his death, with an alternative charge of attempting to do him grievous bodily harm with intent to do so.
Malik Mothen on his own is charged possession of an unlicensed firearm and assault causing actual bodily harm to Mr. Bennett.
The Mothens with Kashwayne Hewitt are charged with attempting to cause the death of Mr. Campbell, and causing him grievous bodily harm with intent.
Daniella Tibbetts is charged, together with Hewitt, of having a firearm in their possession on Feb. 10 in West Bay.
Mr. Moran reminded the jury of five men and two women that the firearm found in West Bay was the same firearm used in the shooting six days earlier, and Hewitt had pleaded guilty to its possession.
After Mr. Moran had closed his case on Nov. 28, there were two days of legal discussions in the absence of the jury. On Dec. 1, Justice Roger Chapple told jurors he had decided that there was no case for a fifth defendant to answer. That was Leshawn Forrester, charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Mr. Campbell. The judge directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict and this defendant left the dock.
The other defendants then had the opportunity to present their cases. Only Tashika Mothen chose to give evidence.
In his summing up, Mr. Moran said she was “right at the center of this case.”
Tashika Mothen had been shot in February 2016 in the vicinity of Jah T’s restaurant near McField Square in George Town, where people tended to congregate on weekend nights.
On the night Mr. Bennett and Mr. Campbell were assaulted and shot at, Tashika and Mr. Bennett exchanged remarks outside the club. Both men said Tashika told Mr. Bennett that even if he did not shoot her, his friend did, and she had a firearm waiting for him.
At some point, Malik Mothen walked away. Tashika knew he was not leaving, Mr. Moran said – if she thought he was leaving she would have gone with him, but she stayed. And she did not want Mr. Bennett to leave before her husband got back. “Why on earth did she stay there … unless she wanted to draw Daniel Bennett into something?” he asked.
He said Malik Mothen had returned from the car park with something in his hand.
Mr. Campbell said he saw a gun in Malik Mothen’s hand. He said he put his own hands up and Malik pistol-whipped him. Mr. Campbell said he walked away, not wanting Malik to think he was going for a weapon. He caught a glimpse of Mr. Bennett “getting the same treatment” he had received. Then a shot rang out. He ran and tripped. When he tried to get up he was punched back down by Malik. Others attacked him, but he could not say who was doing the kicking and punching. He was shot after that.
Mr. Moran posed the question – If Mr. Campbell had wanted to implicate Malik Mothen in the shooting, why would he say that Malik no longer had the gun in his hand when he was shot – that he saw the gun in the hand of another man?
He suggested there was only one explanation: that Malik Mothen had handed the gun to Kashwayne Hewitt.
Defense attorneys had suggested the two victims colluded in their accounts, especially because Mr. Bennett did not give his until a week after. “If these two witnesses had put their heads together to get their stories straight, you might think they would have done a better job,” Mr. Moran told the jurors.
Mr. Bennett did not mention Mr. Campbell getting pistol-whipped. He did not remember being hit himself – just ducking and running when he heard the first shot.
The defendants’ interviews with police had been read as part of the Crown’s case. Hewitt had given three interviews. In the last one, he said that after Malik Mothen had shot Mr. Campbell, he (Hewitt) had managed to disarm him because he did not want Mr. Campbell to get shot again.
Malik had said he assaulted both men with a knuckle duster because he was intimidated and in fear because he had heard that Mr. Bennett might have a gun.
The allegation against Tibbetts was that she had let Hewitt hide the gun at her house. If that was right, she was in possession, Mr. Moran said. If you have knowledge and the ability to exercise control over something, you are in possession of it, he explained. The Crown’s case was that she knew the gun was in the house and chose to do nothing about it.
Closing addresses by defense attorneys were expected to continue on Monday.