The prosecution and defence gave their closing addresses today in the murder trial of Shawn Andre Weekes.
Senior Crown Counsel Neville Watson highlighted some of the “distractions” the defence used while counsel Dr Lenda Blackman said the prosecution’s evidence left “doubts”.
Weekes, formerly of the Crane, St Philip, is accused of the October 29, 2000 murder of Leo Callender. Callender was 24 years old at the time of his shooting death at a shop in the Crane.
“A young man is dead…dead for no good reason. Shot and killed after his last meal with his dear mother…he had no idea it would be his last meal on earth. His stay on this earth was determined for him by someone who had no ability to give life…,” the prosecutor said as he began his address.
He reminded the 12 jurors that they now had the task of judging the facts.
“You have a task at hand to judge the facts by bringing a dispassionate view of the evidence…most importantly use common sense,” he pleaded.
Watson revisited the evidence of Juanna Craig, the owner of the shop where Callender was killed. Craig had said she heard a commotion and looked outside to see Callender crawling on the shop’s steps while Weekes stood over him with what appeared to be a gun.
The prosecutor reminded the jurors of the two questions Craig said she asked Weekes when she saw him that day.
“She asked Weekes why don’t you behave yourself and what are you doing? There is so much wisdom bound up in those two questions,” Watson said, suggesting that Craig wanted Weekes to consider his actions.
Painting the picture of a “wild, wild west scene”, Watson said Weekes and his “band of cohorts” went to the shop “stopping the merriment”.
He recalled the evidence which revealed that persons ran from the shop when the commotion started.
“When the dust settled, like in a cowboy movie, Callender lay fighting for his life.”
The prosecutor also reminded the jury of Dr Stephen Jones’ evidence, the medical doctor who said Callender had been shot twice.
“What was the intention? If a man shoots a man and does it deliberately does he intend to wish him a happy day? No he must have intended to cause him serious bodily harm or to kill him.”
He further reminded the jurors that Craig said she saw Weekes but during questioning defense counsel Dr Lenda Blackman suggested that the shop owner never saw Weekes that day. In addition, Weekes, in his unsworn statement, said he was indeed at the shop that day.
The prosecutor said Weekes’ story helped to support that of the other witnesses in the case who said they saw the accused at the shop.
The matching of the bullet found in Callender, to the gun was also highlighted by the prosecution.
Watson told the members of the jury that questions about fingerprint testing and the absence of the original warrant were just distractions as they bore no weight.
He finally zeroed in on Weekes having left the island a short time after the incident. He questioned why the accused would fly to Canada and then cross the border to the USA. He said the issue of flight was an important part of the case to consider and they had to determine if he left Barbados because of guilt.
Attorney Dr Blackman, in her address, said there was no dispute that Callender was dead but the real question remaining was who killed him.
She said she was not going to paint a picture of the wild, wild west as the evidence did not support such. Instead she looked at the discrepancies in the prosecution’s evidence.
She also analysed Dr Jones’ evidence, suggesting that the areas of the gunshot injuries did not suggest an intention to kill. Callender was shot in the thigh and buttocks.
“We are talking about an intention to kill, if one intends to kill would you aim at the buttocks?” the lawyer asked.
Blackman said the doctor established how Callender died but not the “who”.
The lack of fingerprinting evidence was, according to Blackman, a major problem in the prosecution’s case. She said that type of evidence was crucial in linking the weapon to a person and the prosecution failed in that respect, leaving doubts. The prosecution did not provide the necessary forensic evidence to link Weekes to the weapon, the lawyer charged.
She then looked at Denis Small’s evidence where he suggested that Weekes was living at Jason Weekes residence in 2001. A search warrant was executed at that time and the gun in the matter was found.
The lawyer said the prosecution failed to find out if Weekes was in the jurisdiction in 2001.
“Shawn was not in the jurisdiction in 2001” she said, adding that Small’s evidence had a number of discrepancies.
Justice Carlisle Greaves will sum up the case tomorrow in the No.3 Supreme Court.