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Westfield’s death rule as misadventure

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Oscar Porter, the man who shot and killed Myron Westfield nearly two years ago, will not face criminal charges for his actions.{{more}}

At the conclusion of the Inquiry into Westfield’s death at the Serious Offences Court on Tuesday this week and nearly an hour and a half of deliberations, a five-member jury unanimously ruled that his death was the result of misadventure.

Westfield, 23, gardener, was mortally wounded on Thursday, July 31, 2008, at Gibson Corner after engaging in an altercation with Porter.

Shortly after the announcement of the verdict, Porter openly thanked God. “I speaking the truth. I aint telling no lie. I only work hard all my life and drink Ju-C,” Porter told SEARCHLIGHT.

In the evidence of Detective Sergeant Hesron Ballantyne of the Criminal Investigations Department, he noted Porter gave the police a statement of how the incident unfolded on the tragic day.

Porter, in his statement, said that he was sitting on his porch around 6:30pm when he heard a rumbling near his truck that was parked in his yard. Upon inspection, Porter indicated that he saw the Westfield attempting to take out the vehicle’s battery.

Apparently recognising Porter, Westfield ran and jumped over the wall and was making his way to Lowmans Leeward direction. Porter, 60, said he shouted the words “Yuh too thief” in Westfield direction. That was when the deceased turned back and started firing glass bottles in Porter’s direction.

The block maker revealed that he got up and took his shotgun from his living room, fired two shots in the air and Westfield ran. He also said that one of the bottles caught him on the right shoulder. Porter said he did not know if Westfield was shot.

Westfield is said to have collapsed just below Porter’s gate and died on the spot. A medical report indicated that Westfield died as a result of shotgun injuries. He sustained injuries to his chest, under his right arm, and leg.

Coroner Sonya Young asked Ballantyne why there were no photographs of the pellets outside Porter’s gate and the wounds on the deceased chest. Ballantyne said that he did not know.

Exhibits of broken bottles found on the left side of the main road in Gibson Corner were tendered in evidence. Medical evidence also showed that Porter was treated at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he alleged the bottle struck him on his right arm.

Ballantyne, who stood in the dock for almost two hours, said that Porter told him that he was the victim of a robbery at his business place on May 18, 2007. Porter, the holder of a valid firearm license said that Westfield often accused him of telling the police that it was he (Westfield) who robbed him.

Porter also indicated that Westfield also threatened to shoot him and his family on numerous occasions.

In his evidence in court, Porter told the Coroner that he was sitting with the gun close to him. He added that Myron stood about six feet from the gate and said he was going to kill him (Porter). He further pointed out that Westfield began pelting bottles at him. That was when he took his gun and fired shots in the air.

In her summation, Coroner Young said that the fact that Westfield was shot under his arm, the doctor said it was possible that Westfield could have been holding up his arm. She also pointed to the fact that under cross-examination by counsel for Porter, Arthur Williams, that the accused mentioned that he was facing Westfield when he fired the shots.

Prosecutor, Inspector Nigel Butcher presented the case.(KW)

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