Murder accused, Jamar Dwayne Bynoe, today urged the jury which will determine his fate to join him “on an important journey . . . to the kingdom of truth”.
“Mr Foreman and members of the jury, your duty here today is not about vengeance for the six ladies who lost their lives in the Campus Trendz Store fire. Your role and duty in this case is to be fair . . . to render a verdict of justice,” Bynoe contended.
For the first time in his over two month-long trial, Bynoe, who is representing himself, faced the 12-member jury head on, as he delivered his closing speech.
Standing in the prisoner’s box, the 25-year-old, of Headley’s Land, Bank Hall, St Michael, who is facing six counts of murder, following the deaths of Shanna Griffith, Kelly-Ann Welch, Pearl Cornelius, Kellishaw Olivierre, Nikita Belgrave and Tiffany Harding on September 3, 2010, again maintained his innocence.
“I want you to know, Mr Foreman and members of the jury, that standing in this box accused of the offence of those six young ladies does not mean that I am guilty as charged; that I was at or inside the Campus Trendz Store or set fire to it because I was not there,” he said.
The accused man then went on to remind the jury of the testimonies of some of the Crown’s witnesses, including several police officers and the owner of Campus Trendz, Bibi Ally, who he claimed was unable to identify him in a police lineup.
He argued that the prosecution failed in its quest to produce any evidence that showed or “that make you [the jury] feel sure that I, Jamar Bynoe, was the man who had entered the Campus Trendz store . . . and lit a piece of material hanging from a bottle with flammable liquid . . . threw it into the store . . . causing the life of these six young ladies.”
It was at this point that Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale, who is presenting the prosecution’s case, got up to raise objection. The prosecutor, who has given up the right to make a closing statement, made it clear that the Crown’s case was that of “joint enterprise”.
“It would be misleading for him [to say] that we said that he entered [the store] and lit anything . . . So I want him to be honest and straightforward with the jury [and] to stay as close to the facts as possible . . . because I do not like to stop closing speeches . . . but it’s going to be a problem if he misleads the jury,” Seale argued.
Referring to the testimonies of the officers who appeared in the witness box, including Constable Elton Prescott and Sergeant Mitchell Roach who assisted the late Superintendent Livingston Eversley in investigating the case, Bynoe tried to discredit their accounts of what took place after he was arrested.
“Superintendent Eversley and Sergeant Roach fabricated evidence of oral statements. [These] must crumble and fall like Humpty Dumpty who sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall, all the king’s men could not put him, Humpty Dumpty, together again, not even Mr Seale, the prosecutor, can put the fabricated lies of Superintendent Eversley and Sergeant Roach together again,” he said to the amusement of the court.
At the end of the day’s sitting, Bynoe told Supreme Court No 2 presided over by Madam Justice Michelle Weekes that he still had some “ten pages” to go in his summary and ended quoting reggae legend Bob Marley: “What was hidden in the dark must come to light”.
He continues tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.