Two new witnesses called in double murder trial

BARRY and SHEENA JOHNSON, Murder Holmes Rock Couple

Two new witnesses were introduced in the ongoing murder trial of Barry and Sheena Johnson on Tuesday (December 5) in Supreme Court at the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre.

Prosecutor Erica Kemp questioned the first witness, who is a Royal Bahamas Police Force officer.
Corporal #3247 Oliver took the stand first to explain his involvement in the case. Oliver was attached to the Central Detective Unit in Grand Bahama District when on Friday, September 18, 2015 at the Eight Mile Rock Police Station, Sergeant #772 Johnson spoke with defendant Paul Belizaire under caution in his presence. Belizaire was asked which areas he wished to point out in the area.

Sergeant #1843 Rolle, Corporal Russell who had a camcorder, Oliver and Belizaire left the police station in a white Mitsubishi L300 bus on inquiries into this matter.

Oliver drove while Belizaire directed them. They went down Bayshore Road and eventually Deadman’s Reef and to a residence and pointed out and gave Johnson information. Belizaire reportedly gave Johnson certain information before pointing out a track road.

The court heard that they went down the Warren J. Levarity Highway to a dirt road and a short distance down the road Belizaire gave more information.

Oliver stated that a short time later they returned to the station in Eight Mile Rock.

Kemp then asked Oliver if Belizaire was forced, prompted threatened, offered any inducement or promised anything during this. Oliver replied no to every question.

Oliver stated that he was also present on September 24, 2015 when defendant Kevin Dames was interviewed by Johnson under caution during which Dames admitted his involvement in the matter. The interview form was signed by Johnson and Oliver. The form was presented in court and Oliver verified his signature. He also identified Johnson’s signature. The interview was conducted from 5:34 pm to 5:55pm.

Dames then gave a statement that day from 5:57 pm to 6:26 pm which had also been signed by Johnson and Oliver. This was also shown in court and Oliver verified his signature.

Oliver was then cross examined by Belizaire’s attorney Geoffrey Farquharson.

Farquharson asked if he was on duty on September 17, 2015. He answered yes. He was then asked if he knew when Dames and Belizaire had been brought into custody. He stated no.

Farquharson asked if he knew whether Belizaire had been in custody for days before his interview. Oliver stated Belizaire was not. How would he know that if he did not know his arrest date. He told the court that he worked alongside Johnson but he did not know the exact time.

Farquharson then asked if he knew whether Belizaire was beaten or threatened. He was not mistreated in his presence, outside of that he could not say. Farquharson also brought up that Belizaire was at the station an hour before he was interviewed, which Oliver admitted he was not aware of.

Farquharson put to Oliver that he was lying to help the police. Oliver insisted he was not lying and that he would not lie to aid in the investigation.

Carlson Shurland attorney for defendant Kevin Dames then cross examined Oliver. Shurland asked if he took Dames out on inquiries, Oliver replied no.

He asked if the interview was recorded, the witness stated that it should have been. Oliver stated that Dames was told he was suspected of murder and armed robbery of a truck.

Shurland asked if that suspicion was put in the official statement. Oliver was shown the statement form once again and stated that it was not. Shurland questioned Oliver that if his client was given caution to armed robbery of items not included in the statement. Oliver stated that it was not included in the statement.

On re-examination Kemp asked how Belizaire appeared when he was taken out on inquiries reflecting on what Farquharson asked him during cross-examination. Oliver stated that he appeared fine.

The second witness of the day was Dwight Cartwright, Human Resources Manager at the Freeport Container Port.

Farquharson asked the witness if he issued radios to employees.

He replied yes. He was then asked if he was familiar with the functioning and maintenance of the radio.
Again, he answered yes.

Cartwright was then questioned if logs could be retrieved from the radio once it was charged.
He replied that it could, but was unsure how it would be done.

The trial is ongoing.

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