The brother of deceased Michael Yearwood and the cousin of the man accused of killing Yearwood on Wednesday described him as a loving, caring and friendly man.
Peter Yearwood and Daquan Pierre both spoke glowingly of the former tyre repair man when the murder trial of Raheim Ricardo O’Neil Hinds, continued in the No. 5A Supreme Court before Justice Christopher Birch.
Hinds, of Phillip’s Road, Pinelands, St Michael, is accused of murdering Yearwood on March 26, 2015.
When Peter Yearwood took to the witness stand, he was asked by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale to describe his brother.
“My brother was a caring and a loving person, that’s one thing for sure. He used to look after the fellas in the neighbourhood. As a matter of fact, I even used to ask him if he was the School Meals Service because he used to provide lunch and thing for them. My brother was a very loving fella, a caring fella. I can tell you that for sure,” he said.
While he admitted that he and his brother would “drink drinks” together, the witness denied suggestions that his brother was an alcoholic.
“Yes, he drank alcohol and I used to drink with him…. I wouldn’t say that he was an alcoholic, actually, because he more would control his drinks. He was doing better than me actually. He could control his drinks because some mornings when I come he would say that he ain’t drinking today,” he said.
Yearwood told the court he was not present in the Pine, St Michael on the day his brother was struck in the head with a stone, but later heard about it.
He recalled that on March 26, 2015, he received a call from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital informing him that his brother had died, and he went to the morgue on April 2 and identified the body.
Meanwhile, Pierre, the accused’s cousin, also took the witness stand and described the deceased as a “good fella”.
In fact, he said at the time of the incident he considered Yearwood and Hinds to be friends.
“He was a good fella. He was funny, troublesome and a little bit of an alcoholic. He would do anything for anybody,” Pierre told the court.
“He and my cousin were friends. They would socialise a little bit.”
Recounting the day of the incident, Pierre, who at the time resided in the Pine, said he was at home around 4 p.m. when he heard a dispute and was subsequently informed that his cousin and Yearwood had been in an argument.
He said when he “got up top” he did not see Hinds. However, he said he saw Yearwood with a bottle of rum in one hand and a sword in the other.
Pierre said Yearwood eventually crossed the road and walked toward Rashad Maynard, the accused’s younger brother, and pointed the sword in his face.
He said Hinds arrived and told Yearwood to leave his brother alone.
Pierre said his cousin then took up a rock and threw it at Yearwood, striking him in his head.
However, he contended that Yearwood had “ducked” into the rock.
Pierre said Hinds then fled the scene and Yearwood was “flat on the road”.
Under cross-examination by defence counsel Arthur Holder, Pierre said he did not know what became of the cutlass that Yearwood was holding.
He also recounted that Yearwood told Maynard he would “cut him up”, while poking him in the face.
Another witness, Karen Nurse, testified seeing Yearwood holding an orange-coloured sword in his hand as he lay on the ground.
However, the Pine, St Michael resident said she did not know how he got there.
Nurse told the court that she saw Yearwood in the road with the sword in his hand while she was in her house, but by the time she got outside a large crowd had gathered and Yearwood lying in the road.
The witness said she did not see the accused, Hinds.
“[Yearwood] was lying down in the road and with the assistance of a man we lift him up and took him by the tyre shop. I was holding an umbrella over him and he was sitting up but then he dropped back down,” she recalled, adding that she subsequently called an ambulance.
Nurse said when the ambulance arrived, Yearwood got onto the stretcher but then got off while paramedics were trying to get him into the ambulance.
She said she then saw a man named Sylvester and asked him to take Yearwood to the hospital in his car and he obliged.
Also taking the witness stand was Shaunte Shorey, who told the court that she remembered very little of what happened.
“All I could remember is a commotion and Bishop [Michael Yearwood] was on the ground and Raheim was quarrelling,” she said.
She said she did not witness the incident but was told that Yearwood had been struck by a rock.
However, under cross-examination by Holder, Shorey admitted that she had told police in a statement that “Bishop was three feet away from Rashad with a sword in his hand”.
The trial will continue on October 12 and the state is expected to call three more witnesses before closing its case.