Thursday, March 6, 2014
The afternoon session meanders. As the time slowly ticks by it appears the presiding judge in the trial of Vybz Kartel and his four co-accused may be overcome by either the length of the trial or something unknown. As he sums up to the eleven member jury, the summing up lacks structure and form.
These are my verbatim notes. When I wish to include a note to better explain what is happening in the courtroom, my comments are bracketed.
The evidence of Onika Jackson.
She gave her age as 26. She says she was living together with Clive Lizard Williams for about 3/4 years. She knows he was called Lizard. He had no children. He was a part time worker at NWC where he laid pipes. The important part of her testimony is that she had not heard from Clive Williams from August 16, 2011. She hadn’t heard from him since. And it is important that on that date they were texting.
August 16, 2011 ( the judge never says two thousand eleven or twenty eleven but two zeerio one one) when she was leaving for work he was still asleep. He had to report to Waterford Police Station as he had a gun charge against him.
She said her cell number was 3824835 and his number was 5710021 and those are important because among text messages put into evidence by the prosecution is a series of text from those numbers. She said she had that number for about a year and no one else used it.
Her last text message was about 7:26 PM on the 16th.
She went on to say she knows his friends. She knew Wee and Shawn Storm to talk to and in fact she said she knew Shawn before Clive. Storm is stage name for Campbell.
In identifying Shawn, she said he worked with JUTC then he got a job as DJ. She knew Clive Lizard Williams’ family. She says he had sisters and two brothers. She knew Nadine is also Stephanie Brackenridge.
She said she is familiar with members of Portmore empire otherwise called Gaza family. They go to stage show and perform. Vybz Kartel, Storm, Black Rhino, Chin and some other associates.
(Judge pronounces Black Rhino – Black Reeno- to some laughter in court by those more familiar with the name)
Judge continues almost oblivious to the courtroom chuckle.
She mentions persons by name- Gaza Slim – that name you will recall from the evidence of Superintendent Thompson to the effect that he received a report on October 29, two zeerio one one.
( judge again emphasizes the H in Thompson)
He received certain reports regarding an alleged case of robbery against Vanessa Saddler otherwise known as Gaza Slim and a suspect Clive Williams was named.
So this person who she identified as part of Gaza family made a report on October 29 that Clive Williams had held her up with a firearm. The important point is the that the officer says he gave instructions for investigations to be conducted and to collect statements from relatives of Clive Williams. Statements were recovered and he having received reports, he continued to look for the body of Clive Williams.
You didn’t hear anything further of this person – a member of the Gaza tribe about any robbery that Lizard would have been involved in subsequent to the 16th of August.
Miss Jackson further mentioned persons she knew. She said she knew VYbz Kartel as Teacha or Daddy. She knew him about a year before. She is 26 and Kartel, Mr. Palmer is 38 years old.
She said they would go to stage show. Up to August, (two zeerio one one) 2011. He laid pipes up to April of that year. Whenever permanent workers were unavailable, he would fill in.
Regarding August 16, she says they communicated by text messages. She was not allowed to use phone at work and she was in communication with Lizzie. But not only …you can well imagine she is 26 yrs old and she said they would communicate everyday and she never communicate with anyone else on the phone attributed to Lizard- 5710021.
She said ‘we would text everyday’. When she got home, he was not there. It’s not unusual for him not to be at home. She went to Rat Town, made inquiries of friends and received no information. No clothing of his was taken. They were all there. She said she was calling his phone again and got voice mail.
She said she never received any communication from him after the 16. She said that was unusual as they had a stable relationship. Despite communication from her through the night, there was no response. This is one of the circumstances the prosecution is putting to you saying he was dead. This lady he lived with and used to communicate everyday with and comes the 16 and no further word.
The Prosecution says when you put it in context of text messages he was sending during course of day, it strengthens, provides evidence of the death of Clive Williams because during course of the day Madam Foreman and Your Members, ( judge flips through his notes here as if he as lost his train of thoughts. The courtroom waits and the judge then continues)… let me remind you what she said about the text
She told us about him not taking anything at all with him. You may wonder- if he’s going somewhere whether it is reasonable that he would come to retrieve some of his clothing. He took absolutely nothing from the room he shared with his girlfriend. That room was owned by the accused Palmer.
She told us of efforts through the night to make contact with him which did not succeed. She says she last saw him August 16.
She was asked about Sunday, the 14 because Wee and his friend having received some information were scared and frightened. The very next witness will say the condition.
His girlfriend says he was a bit worried from night before. She says normally he would go on the ends and that night he stayed in and he was not sick. She said she had not seen him back since the night. She spoke to Inspector Thomas and gave a statement and continued to make calls.
She was cross examined by Mr. Finson and she said she knew Stephanie Brackenridge. She says she spoke with his brother in law and confirmed that he was reporting at Waterford Police Station. The significance of this is that he may very well have absconded bail. She said there were occasions when she went to look at dead bodies. Remember DSP Thompson said she took her and Mrs. Brackenridge several times with a view to locating body of Clive Williams.
She was also cross examined by Mr. Lorne. She said she gave several statements to the Police. One was given on September 6. She describes Mr Campbell as a good friend of Clive Williams. She describes Mr. Campbell as a good friend of Clive Williams
( I am not sure why the judge repeated the last sentence. Was it for emphasis or catching his thoughts)
She knows that he worked at JUTC. This line says they are very good friends so why would he put him in harm’s way as the prosecution is contending.
The Prosecution says Storm is total betrayal as he took both men to Havendale knowing what the plan was that Palmer had instituted. So it’s a matter for you. On one hand the girlfriend says they were good friends. I had good relationship with Mr. Campbell in witness box.
Regarding the text messages Madam Foreman and your members, I will deal with those at a later time.
(Judge knocks his bench in an attempt to beckon to the registrar who sits immediately in front of his but lower down so that the judge cannot see him. Knocking the bench is how the judge gets the registrar’s attention. The knock fails and the judge calls out for the Registrar. The registrar’s seat is empty. The judge says he needs the list of text messages. It’s 2:40PM – there’s a brief pause then judge continues without the registrar)
The – I told you that Miss Jackson indicated they were texting each other through the day on the 16.
6:53PM message to Oneika – ‘baby, Teacha sen call me’ – prosecution says this is the summons.
Teacha as you very well think – the Witness says she calls the accused Palmer, Teacha. What she says is -‘What are you going to do babes’
Tom Tavares Finson rises with a quizzical look on his face and addresses the judge
Finson – ‘ my Lord, sorry to interrupt but – none of those were put the witness’
Judge – (says irritably) ‘Mr. Finson’
(Interruptions by attorney of a judge’s summing up are rear and should be done sparingly. Lawyers do so if and only if the judge is misquoting the evidence.Tavares Finson sits and the judge then justifies his use of text messages not put to the witness Onika Jackosn)
You recall that 3824835 was her number and her boyfriend’s was 5710021 and she’s known him to have that phone for about a year. The text I am reading to you is from the number she claims is her number to the number of her boyfriend, Clive Williams ( judge repeats the content of the text message)
6:50 he says ‘I am really scared baby pls call the police you have to save me’.
Now when you sit there use your common sense – one of the instruments you are supposed to use. Is this something he is making up or the urgency of the situation is forcing him to tell truth as it is unfolding.
Message from Onika is asking ‘just you alone’
Clive Williams says – ‘please call police for me. You have to do it now’
What does he consider to be so urgent. But you have to remember this man is no saint. He has been charged. He’s reporting to police. He has been with this family for some time. He lost a gun and this is his reaction. This is what he anticipates is going to happen.
‘Tell dem Vybz Kartel ago kill me pls Baby’.
Look at what is unfolding and ask is he making it up or is the stress of the situation bringing that out- because he knows the family. He knows what happens in those situations
7:09 – ‘you haffi hurry up’
7:11 – ‘Shawn can’t save we. We in Needfa car a go up there’
The Shawn mentioned in the text, is this the accused Campbell? You recall evidence before you that this is a taxi that Campbell uses. This trip Campbell was in front and Chow and Clive Williams are in the back. Also recall Chow says whilst he was in Needfa car, he saw Lizard texting on his phone. His girlfriend’s response after he says ‘tell Nadine to call police and Ridge fast fast’. Ridge is the husband of his sister.
So even beyond his girlfriend he’s extending call for help to his relatives.
7:16 – baby please call me now a Havendale. Pls pls tell dem fi look fi Neefa car
7:18 – mi deh a Red Hills road a go up
7:18 from Onika to Clive Williams – ok baby I am praying for you
7:26 – I can’t concentrate right now. Just be cool and call to G. (Name given by witness to Palmer)
7:28 Clive Williams says please hurry up we soon reach babes
7:37 Onika says – baby I am shaking so bad I am nervous. Geof just catch me on my phone but I don’t care although him going to kill me.
There were no other messages recorded from Mr. Williams.
As I told you, it is for you to decide what these messages mean and to ensure the witnesses weren’t mistaken in what they said. Also you must be certain that Clive Williams did not concoct these messages.
You heard the Defence case that evidence was concocted and motivated by ill will or malice and certain actions of police are product of conspiracy. Bear that in mind as you look at these text messages from Clive Williams being driven in Needfa car where Chow said they were pressured to go.
What did he mean by ‘tell dem say Vybz Kartel a go kill me’
Vybz Kartel was someone he knew before. This is someone who had to report to police and here is is pleading for relatives to get police. It is for you to say whether they are consistent with the prosecution case that Clive Williams is dead.
The next witness I will look at is Stephanie Bradckenridge – sister of Clive Williams.
In August Two zeerio one one (2011) she was living in St Catherine, Waterford. She is also called Nadine. She lives with younger siblings her children and husband Samuel otherwise called Ridge. Clive is a younger brother.
She recalls Sunday August 14, 2011 as the last night she saw Clive. He lived with his girlfriend Onika who had a daughter which is not Lizard’s. She says he worked at NWC. She knows Lamar Chow. Shawn Storm and he was friend with Kartel. She also knew Shawn Williams.
This is the sister of Clive Williams. She said she knew Shawn Williams. If he and Clive Williams were up and about together could he
(Prosecutor Taylor rises as the judge is once again in need of correction)
Taylor – excuse me My lord, is Shawn Campbell and not Williams.
Judge – ahhhmmm….what is your note last note there Mr. Palmer asks the judge of the learned senior deputy director of public prosecutions whose name is Jeremy TAYLOR.
(Needless to say, the courtroom chuckles – jurors are seen laughing almost in amazement. The judge continues seamlessly)
Learned senior deputy is right. There are…( inaudible)
She is reciting friends she knows. Says he works at NWC. She knows Lamar Chow otherwise called Wee and he was friends with Palmer otherwise called Kartel. She would see Storm and Palmer from time to time. She told you that she saw a music video in which Storm was there. Lizard was portrayed as one of the guys on the corner. I think it was portrayed to show familiarly.
She said Clive Williams danced a lot and that is how he got the nickname.
You recall her reaction. She broke down. I told you before, you cannot be swayed by sentiments.
Lizard would visit her house and take care of younger siblings and she would see him often as he lived close by and they talk often. The prosecution says here’s a man who had good relation with his sister- Not a lot of quarrel. In those circumstances would you expect that he would abscond and make no contact with her?
She says she spoke with him by telephone 5710021. She supports Onika regrading the number.
She last saw him between 1-2 in afternoon August 14. She was in the bathroom when he came. She heard a loud commotion and banging on the door. She was frightened. Saw Clive Williams and he crunched down by a sofa – white and sweating like they were seeing ghosts.
That was on the 14.
You heard the text to those. Does it support what is in the text. The fact that on the 16 were these messages to his girlfriend soliciting her help. On 14 August this is what his sister is recounting. She sees the men in her house. She says they were falling down like their knees could not hold up. Did that happen or was she making it up.
You saw her. Was she evasive or trying to deceive when she recounted what she saw in the living room of her house. She said they looked frightened and scared. Now the context that this frighten and scare has to be placed in are some voice notes – I will play for you tomorrow of the accused Palmer and what he said in relation to the person who lose the gun.
Remember I gave you an order starting with the plan. What Palmer said would happen. The Defence says the police force conspired against all of them. This is a canon piracy. I don’t know if it extends as far as the honorable Minister Peter Bunting but he is certainly one of the persons whose names was called. There is no denying that the voice is the voice of a Palmer but the voice has been spliced and interwoven. That is the context that the sis of Clive Williams is testifying about. Is she trying to deceive you, is she evasive or is she part of the concoction. That’s a matter for you.
She says after she saw them in the house she gave them instructions and drove them to the mall and returned home. She left them there and that was the last time I had seen him. She spoke to him after- On the 16, Tuesday morning. She called him on the phone. She didn’t speak to him again. She made efforts Tuesday night but got voice mail – Several Several times.
She went to the Police Station to report him missing. It was not normal for him not to make contact up to that point (repeat). The Prosecution says this is another instance that points in one direction and one direction only that Clive Williams is dead.
On way to the police station she was still making efforts to call. Shawn lives a few feet away. There is a studio in the area and they would come. She doesn’t know where Shawn and the others lived. She just see them together. She doesn’t know where Kiro lived. Up to August 2011 she had lived there about 10 yrs.
She was cross examined longer than Onika. Mr Finson asked about the incident on 14. She said that when she took them to the mall, her intention was for them to leave Waterford. She was not aware they were still in Waterford. They returned according to the evidence of Chow. Asked by Mr. Finson about the other side of her brother, she said she knew he was charged with illegal possession of firearm. He was also charged with possession of and shooting with intend. She said she was aware.
On the 18 she gave police a statement. She was asked about the contents and whether she mentioned the events she told the court about. Police came and took another statement. She gave the first statement a week after her brother went missing at police headquarters. She doesn’t recall where or to whom.
Mr Lorne also cross examined her and his direction was that in fact her brother and Campbell were close. She admitted that Shawn encouraged him to take out a passport. Shawn wanted to make him into bigger act than he was.
This would cause you to ask why would Shawn Campbell having taken efforts to get passport for him, why then deliver them as the Crown is saying knowing that they were going to be seriously injured.
She said she got instructions from brother and as a result she left the community. Said she didn’t mention that she was afraid in the statement to Waterford police. She had instructed her brother to leave the community and gave him $3000 to do so.
The next witness is Constable Avril Thomas
She is a Forensic Crime Scene Investigator. She received training in 2005 and has been working as a crime scene investigator since 2005.
(Constable Avril Thompson is not a woman. He appeared in court as a man. No sex change or gender re-alignment surgery has been reported since)
August 22 at about 11 while on duty at the task force office she received instructions from her supervisor. She set off with a digital camera and other equipment – took pictures of the area. She noticed on arrival that there was a house with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and car port – started investigation. She made sketches of the scene and made several observations.
She gave a description of the property – estimated height of wall and gate -that was given as 8 ft. She entered the yard and on entering noted trees. She walked around the yard and made several observations. The gate was closed and it is gate you cannot see through. It is a gate that slides. She entered the carport through a grill work and noticed that floors had been wiped.
There is a verandah attached to the carport which was also wiped clean. The horizontal walls of house were also wiped. The Prosecution leading this is saying this is another chain in the circumstances that leads to one conclusion and one conclusion only. In this house where several things were noted – Some of rooms described as being in a dirty condition but certain areas wiped clean. You may ask what was the purpose of the that. Why were walls and flooring wiped clean.
Small dry spots on the inside that resembled blood were observed.
The living room – floor was wiped and painted and appeared to be empty.
There was a small white fridge and a microwave with shelves. Chow says he was aware that 2 persons live there. None of the accused say they live there. Chow says Andre st John and Shane Williams lives there.
Shane Williams says he doesn’t live there and he’s not known as Terrence.
There was a a small standing bathroom that was in a very dirty condition. It begs the question if the bathroom is so dirty how comes this cleanliness regarding the floor.
(The registrar slips a note to the judge)
Madam Foreman and your members, I am still on the evidence of this investigator.
(Perhaps the note to the judge by the registrar caused the judge to end making reference to Avril Thomas as ‘she’ and ‘her’ and to ‘this investigator’)
(It’s 3:30PM. Court sessions normally ends at 4PM or thereabouts. Presiding Judge Lennox Campbell adjourns the sitting at 3:30 with his usual word to the jurors)
All that remains is my summation to continue. Please do not discuss this case with anyone outside your numbers. Please step down.
(More to come)