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Hendrickson freed – Star witness fails to identify him as shooter

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After the star witness in a preliminary inquiry into a murder case could not identify the person who he said he saw kill Trinidadian Kent Blugh, prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche was forced to withdraw the matter against 24-year-old Chateuabelair resident Marlon Hendrickson on Tuesday, February 28.{{more}}

When the matter commenced at the Serious Offences Court on Monday, the key witness, a boy, testified that he was sitting on his porch around 10:00 p.m. on February 22, 2011, when he saw a green jeep pull up in front of the neighbour’s house.

He said he saw the deceased sitting on a wall, following which a man, whom he referred to as ‘Marlon’, alighted the vehicle and opened fire on Blugh.

However, under-cross examination, defence counsel Olin Dennie asked the youngster to point out the man whom he saw shoot the deceased. The boy took his time, looked around the courtroom, took a look at Hendrickson and stated that he did not see the shooter in the courtroom.

As a result of the witness’s revelation, Inspector Delpesche asked for an adjournment in the matter so that he could discuss the matter with the Director of Public Prosecution.

The following day, Delpesche withdrew the charge against Hendrickson.

Delpesche later told SEARCHLIGHT that the evidence that came from the witness did not go the way the prosecution was expecting.

“He said he knew the accused, but also said that he was not in court…,” Delpesche said.

The prosecutor said he was banking on the witness to “bring home the case” for the prosecution. “Where his evidence fell short, we had no other evidence that could have pinned down the man,” he said.

Delpesche said he, along with the investigating officer, went to the DPP’s office to discuss the matter and was instructed by the DPP to discontinue the matter.

“Based on the evidential test in the prosecutors code, the evidence fell short and there was no other evidence to make out a prima facie case; so to continue the matter would have been a waste of judicial time,” Delspeche explained.

Blugh, 41, died as a result of several gunshot wounds about his body.

Counsel Carlos James also appeared with Dennie for the defence.

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