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Murder trial drama continues

Murder trial drama continues

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Five Rillan Hill men – Hilton Bennette, Maxwell Phillips, Martin Phillips, Kenford Samuel and Samantius Gould/Glasgow are expected to return to court today after they pleaded not guilty to murder at the opening of the Assizes June 7.

Their indictment stems from an incident at Penniston August 6, 2003 which led to the death of Cameron Arrindell who died in an early morning shooting at a house where he was staying. {{more}}

The trial, which began June 29 has endured its intrigues. From the onset, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams failed to get an amendment to the indictment.

Williams had requested the aliases for the men: ‘Jinks’ for accused number one Hilton Bennette, ‘Clint’ for number two Maxwell Phillips, ‘Killer Loop’ for accused number four Kenford Samuel, and ‘Yardie’ for fifth accused Gould/Glasgow be used in the trial.

However the defence lawyers objected. Bayliss Frederick, representing Bennette, Nicole Sylvester for the Phillips, Kay Bacchus Browne for Samuel and Ronald Marks for Gould/Glasgow all disagreed with the DPP’s motion.

As far as Frederick was concerned, the “amendment could have tremendous implications.” That all came before the jury had been empanelled.

Defence Counsel Nicole Sylvester said the DPP’s request was an “amendment to insert what we consider evidence. [That] will present considerable injustice.”

Sylvester noted that she did not have any “instructions as to the suggested names.” And said that the amendment had more overarching implications. “It does not change nor further the case of the prosecution in any way,” she said.

Bacchus Browne pointed out that the amendment “will be a grave injustice.”

She expressed disappointment that the amendments were not served on lawyers who had been on record since February 2005.

The defense lawyer however agreed that: “You could amend if it is defective. It is an attempt to get evidence and that is illegal.”

Marks, for his part, pointed out: “On the face of it, it seems trivial,” and his first response was: “I have no objections.”

He said he had no instructions that his client was really called ‘Yardie.’

“This is something the Prosecution has to prove. We cannot assist them by agreeing to the amendment,” Marks said.

Acting DPP Williams in response said: “All we are indicating for the sake of clarity is who is who.” He wondered “what is the big quarrel about?”

Justice Bruce-Lyle disallowed the amendment.

Even then, there was further conflict. It surrounded a piece of rusty galvanise which was in the court and the presence of which defence lawyer Sylvester objected to. The offending galvanize was promptly removed.

The trial proceeded in normal fashion thereafter with the selection of a 12-member jury, including seven men.

But that was not the end of the drama. And it is likely to continue at the High Court today Friday July 8. But that depends on what transpired yesterday.

A session in Chambers involving the legal luminaries was expected to have further bearing on the trial as the defence lawyers continued going through a “literary analysis” which surrounded statements given by the accused to the Police.

According to Marks it is the first time that such an aspect had been raised during a trial.

Up to Wednesday, eight witnesses had mounted the witness stand, including three Justices of Peace, Corporal Chester Peters, Inspector Franklyn Williams, and businessman Nav Frederick, who lived across the street from where the incident occurred.

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