Crime scene photos presented in murder trial as Jeffrey Daniel’s fate unfolds; pathologist says deceased died from massive blood loss

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By Latrishka Thomas

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Within the solemn courtroom, a hushed tension filled the air as  crime scene photos connected to the murder of Robinson ‘David’ Roberts came to light during the trial proceedings.

On trial in the historic first judge-only murder trial is 29-year-old Jeffrey Daniel, accused of the murder of Roberts on May 21, 2021, in Newfield.

Daniel,  represented by Attorneys Wendel Alexander and Wayne Marsh, is on trial before Justice Tunde Bakre.

As the third day of the trial unfolded, a series of images were presented to the court, providing insights into the crime.

The photos told a grim tale, showing a trail of blood droplets leading from the deceased’s home to the place where his lifeless body was discovered.

Images showed the deceased curled into a fetal position, his head resting on the ground, with his right hand resting on a nearby car.

Those visuals, in addition to a close-up of  Roberts’ bloodied chest, bearing a large and fatal wound, brought his sister to tears.

Other photos showcased Roberts’ car parked near his house, its left rear passenger glass shattered, and his crocs  spaced apart, one near a pile of old tyres in the yard and one at the gate.

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The courtroom also observed photos of the accused displaying bruises and cuts across his body.

The photos came to light during the testimony of Corporal Rafique Haywood of the Forensic Evidence Recovery unit, who walked through the crime scene with another police witness.

He was the third of the four witnesses who took the stand yesterday.

He took the photos, uploaded them to a CD and that disc was tendered in court.

Testifying before Haywood, however, was Sergeant Alpheus O’Garro also of the Forensic Evidence Unit,  who recounted his examination of the crime scene on the morning of the incident.

This witness was instrumental where the alleged murder weapon was concerned.

He was handed the  cutlass, wrapped at the handle with cloth – which he duly secured and packaged.

It was submitted into  evidence during his testimony.

In his evidence, he described tracing what appeared to be a path of bloodstains leading from the gate of the deceased’s residence, heading east and then south along a dirt road to a shed. Along this path, he discovered a white car concealed beneath a grey tarpaulin, with a man nearby, dressed in just grey and blue boxers, adopting a child’s pose.

He did a walk-through of the crime scene with Haywood.

He said that Roberts exhibited a grievous wound on his left chest, measuring six inches in length and two inches in width.

The sergeant further informed the court that, at a later time, he met Daniel at the police station, where he observed bruises on various parts of Daniel’s body, including his face, chest, arm, foot, and back.

He proceeded to take a mouth swab from Daniel for DNA analysis.

During cross-examination, it was revealed that although mouth swabs and blood samples were taken, none were subjected to DNA analysis. This decision, as stated by the witness, was out of his hands and had been determined by his superiors.

A district medical officer also took the stand, earlier in the proceedings she too recounted finding the deceased in a kneeling, face-down position beside a car and pronounced him dead at 9:05 am that morning.

She estimated that Roberts had succumbed to his injuries one to two hours before her arrival.

Pathologist Lester Simon, the penultimate witness, told the court that the deceased’s wound was 14cm in length, 5cm in width and 3cm deep.

He said however, that the deceased had blood all the way down to his feet.

The expert witness then told the court that the deceased had some fractured ribs due to some sort of severe force  as well 500 ml of blood in his left chest cavity.

He then revealed that the man died due to exsanguination or massive blood loss due to the laceration to his chest caused by a sharp object.

The final witness in the prosecution’s case was Corporal Amethyst George, the investigator who arrested and charged the accused during her probe.

The defense questioned the thoroughness of the investigation.

Evidence earlier  in the case suggested that the deceased and Daniel got into a fight when the accused came looking for his ex-girlfriend – the stepdaughter of the deceased.

Some accounts state that Daniel had been warned not to return to the residence and was therefore confronted by Roberts with a cutlass on the day of the incident.

A fight is said to have erupted and somehow the body of the deceased ended up some 5 minutes down the road at his garage.

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