Barnes denies murdering ex-lover

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In what murder accused Errol “Errie” Barnes terms as a case of “mistaken identity”, the defendant took the stand yesterday to deny knowledge or having any involvement in the shooting death of 19-year-old Melissa Rose in 2012.
Rose was shot and killed outside her John Hughes home while she was sitting in the truck of Barnes’ former boss, Damon “Chuka” Lewis after 10 pm on September 5, 2012, in what the prosecution alleges was jealous rage because Rose had ended the abusive three-year relationship several weeks before her death.
When the defence called its only witness, yesterday, 40-year-old Barnes took the opportunity to discredit the witnesses for the prosecution who had testified under oath that they saw Barnes with a gun; he was near the crime scene; he had threatened Rose and Lewis; and he had stated that he “prayed something bad happen” to the mother of his then 11-month-old daughter.
“All this is a mix up; mistaken identity,” Barnes told the court while on the witness stand under cross examination by the Crown.
Raheem Murraine, Rose’s younger brother, testified that he saw Barnes driving a silver Nissan Almera R2256 on the road to Rose’s home on the night before the deceased was shot through the heart. A neighbour, Ricky Joseph also said he saw Barnes that same night and the evening after. However, Barnes denied driving the car he had rented on September 4, 2012 from Raddy’s Car Rental.
Sasha James, Rose’s friend, said Barnes made a 30-minute commotion outside her home on the day before the murder and, based on the accused man’s aggression, she felt compelled to call the police after Barnes said he prayed for something bad to happen to Rose.
In the gruelling marathon session that started just after 9 am and ended a little before 3 pm, with an hour for lunch, Barnes testified that he and Rose were still in a relationship, although he was living in his mother’s Nut Grove home with another woman, who was pregnant with their second child, and he was still actively pursuing other women.
When asked by Crown Counsel 1, Adlai Smith, why would witness Verlyn Nikisha Theophile testify that he (Barnes) handed her a black revolver less than two hours before Rose was killed, Barnes said she was “jealous”.
“I didn’t show her anything, I tried to put her hand in my pants and she pulled away. Nikisha and I had a secret relationship. She knew I had a little money and she tried to get to me but I bad played her. She used to call me to carry her places and give her money … she kept having me waiting,” Barnes stressed as he declared that he did not show anyone a gun because he did not have one.
He later said that he did not even know the name of the young woman with whom he had claimed to have had a relationship.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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