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‘Herb’ on trial for Dappa’s murder

‘Herb’ on trial for Dappa’s murder

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On Tuesday, April 15, 2008, exactly one year after Jason “Proper Dappa” Burgin was gunned down at Philo’s Disco, his murder trial commenced at the High Court.{{more}}

Burgin, 34, of Lowmans Leeward was attending a dance in Questelles at Philo’s Disco when he was shot in the head in the wee hours of the morning. He later succumbed to his injuries at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

Murder accused, Earl Cauldric “Herb” Edwards, 30, of Questelles stood in the defendant’s box while the twelve member mixed jury was being impaneled.

Witness, Disc Jockey Joel “DJ Fugitive” Bibby, said he was playing music while Burgin was dancing close to stage in “a carefree manner as he usually does”.

Bibby added that moments after he saw a dreadlocked person coming through the crowd from the bar area with his arm outstretched. “I saw the person had a firearm in his hand and came up to Dappa and shot him,” Bibby stated.

He told the court two shots rang out, but he only heard the second one, since he had on his headphones at the time. Bibby stated that he saw fire coming from the gun when the first shot was fired and didn’t know what was going on at the time as he was in a state of shock. He said he turned down the volume when the second and fatal shot was fired.

Memories of Burgin’s carefree style of dance that night and at other events were highlighted by some of the witnesses, which served as somewhat bittersweet moments for Burgin’s family members who were gathered in the courtroom.

Operator of Philo’s Disco Wendell Phillips said that he saw Burgin dancing with a woman on his back when he came to the bar to buy drinks. Phillips said that Burgin bought two beers and went back to party when he saw him (Burgin) and Edwards talking in a casual manner. “I saw the two of them talking and I see when Dappa take his thumb and run it across his neck,” Phillips stated. He mentioned that shortly after, Burgin went into the crowd and Edwards went in the same direction. “About 15 minutes later, I heard two gunshots fire. When I put on the light I saw Dappa on the ground with blood running from his mouth,” he stated. Phillips said he remembered seeing the accused in a red hat and a camouflage jacket that night.

PC 110 Osmond Caesar said he and Sergeant 83 Ralton Bobb were on duty at the entrance of the nightclub – searching patrons before they entered the venue. Caesar said he frisked Edwards when he entered the dance and nothing was found on him. The officer mentioned that at about 2:45 a.m. the dance “freed up” and he and Bobb left the venue and were standing in the vicinity of the next-door service station. While standing there, Bobb said he saw Edwards come from his vehicle with a grey and black camouflage jacket and go back into the discotheque. About 15 minutes later, Caesar said he heard an explosion that sounded like gunshots and saw people running. Caesar said he tried to enter the disco but was unable to and only saw three men lifting Burgin out of the disco.

When the case resumed on Wednesday, the matter was adjourned as one of the jurors fell ill. The matter continued yesterday. So far the prosecution has called eight witnesses. Edwards is legally represented by Arthur Williams.

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