The trial of double murder victims – Barry and Sheena Johnson – finally got underway yesterday – Wednesday, October 11 - in the Freeport Supreme Court at the Garnet Levarity Centre.
The couple was murdered in their Holmes Rock residence in the early morning hours of September 13, 2015.
The high profile murder trial was scheduled to commence on Monday (September 18) morning in the Freeport Supreme Court, following a postponement due to the passing of Hurricane Irma, two weeks prior.
However, the men accused of the couples’ brutal murder – Allan Alcime, Virgill Hall, Paul Belizare, Kevin Dames and Devaughn Hall – were not flown in from the capital in time for the start of the trial.
However, proceedings officially began Wednesday morning, with Justice Estelle Gray-Evans presiding.
Following a jury selection, the first witness –the crime scene officer, who collected photographic evidence of the grisly scene – was called and later cross examined.
Attorney Jeff Farquharson, who represents one of the defendants questioned the validity of the officer’s photographs, during the cross examination.
He implied that the scene could have been tampered with prior to the officer’s presence, because the officer reported to the scene at 10:28 a.m. hours after the murder supposedly occurred.
Farquharson also posed the question to the witness on whether the deceased was involved in drug trafficking.
All of which the witness stated he had no knowledge of.
Defendants – Dames, Belizare and Hall – all of whom plead not guilty to the homicide, were present at court.
The trial was adjourned to this morning (October 12) at 10:00 a.m.
Alcime, Virgill Hall, Belizare and Hall were all arraigned before Magistrate Gwendolyn Claude on September 22, 2015 in the Eight Mile Rock Magistrate’s Court on two counts of murder and one count of armed robbery, in the death of the husband and wife.
Dames, a fifth man was also charged with days later.
Mr. Johnson was an employee at the Freeport Container Port and Mrs. Johnson was a teacher at Eight Mile Rock High School. Their deaths were the island’s 11th and 12th murders for the year.