Johnson double murder trial continues

BACK IN COURT – Kevin Dames, DeVaughn Hall and Paul Belizaire were back in court yesterday, for the double murder trial of Barry and Sheena Johnson.

Defence Attorney Geoffrey Farquharson continued questioning lead investigator Sergeant #772 Lorenzo Johnson, when the murder trial of Barry and Sheena Johnson resumed on Tuesday (February 13) morning in the Supreme Court at the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre.

The Johnsons were murdered at their Holmes Rock residence on September 12, 2015. Allan Alcime, Virgill Hall, Paul Belizaire, Kevin Dames and Devaughn 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 for the murders of the husband and wife.

Alcime and Virgill Hall have since become crown witnesses in the case and the murder charges were dropped against the men. They were convicted on the armed robbery charges only and are currently serving time.

Mr. Johnson was an employee at the Freeport Container Port and his wife, was a teacher at Eight Mile Rock High School.
Their deaths were the island’s 11th and 12th murders for that year.

Farquharson is representing Belizaire; Attorney Jethlyn Burrows is representing Devaughn Hall, while Attorney Carlson Shurland is representing Dames.

On the stand yesterday, Farquarhson asked Johnson if he recalled the shotgun that he had spoken about in his previous testimony.

Johnson answered that he did not.

Farquharson requested that the surveillance video of the night of the murder be shown again, at the time 22:23.
After the video was shown, Farquharson asked Johnson if the shotgun in the video was the one shown in evidence.
Johnson stated that he did not say that … what he said was that Sergeant Rolle showed him a shotgun in evidence, which was supposed to be exhibited in court.

Farquharson asked him if he saw any other weapons.

Johnson replied that he did.

The attorney asked the witness what kind of weapon it appeared to be.
He stated that it appeared to be a rifle.

Farquharson then asked him how many guns were retrieved in the investigation.
Johnson answered that one gun was retrieved.

Farquharson questioned what efforts were made to locate the other firearms.

Johnson answered that several search warrants were executed in search of the other two guns.
The attorney asked if any reports in reference of the searches for the two guns were given.
Johnson stated that it would be on file.

Farquharson asked if he saw any written reports on the matter.

Johnson replied that portions of the report referred to a search for the guns.

Farquharson asked the witness if that was the only report he recalled, to which Johnson responded that it was.
Farquharson questioned if all of the statements he received from the defendants, specifically from his client, were voluntary.

Johnson replied that they were.

Farquharson asked the witness why he did not question Belizaire about the guns if he was voluntarily giving information.

Johnson stated that he did not know if it was on the record of interview, but he asked Belizaire for a statement and he gave one.

Farquharson asked Johnson if he did not think it was important to find an AK-47.

Johnson replied that the police tried their best to find the other guns.

Farquharson then put to the witness that they made no efforts to find the guns.

Once again Johnson stated that they tried their best to retrieve them.

Farquharson continued to ask why his client was not asked about the location of the guns.
Johnson answered that Belizaire told them he had a gun and they went to search for it.

He added that one of the guns was retrieved, but the others were never found.

Farquharson repeatedly put to the witness that he never asked his client about the gun.

He then put to Johnson that it was the “height of slackness” not to do so.

Prosecutor Neil Braithwaite objected.

Johnson answered that he did not agree.

Farquharson put to the witness that he lied and Belizaire was not cooperative when giving his statement, which was why he was never asked about the gun.

Justice Estelle Gray-Evans is presiding over the trial and Prosecutors Neil Braithwaite and Erica Kemp of the Office of the Attorney General are appearing on behalf of the Crown.

The trial is scheduled to resume today.

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