Day 10 of Vincia James murder trial leaves more questions than answers

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Vincia James
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By Latrishka Thomas

[email protected]

At the beginning of the trial against Mikhail Gomes, there was only one question plaguing the minds of all interested in the mysterious case – did Gomes kill his ex-girlfriend?

Well, since the trial began almost two weeks ago, more questions have arisen, especially after yesterday’s hearing.

Gomes is accused of killing 28-year-old Vincia James, who has not been seen or heard from since April 7 2017.

James, a mother-of-one, was last seen on surveillance camera leaving her Old Parham Road workplace, Dixie Operations Ltd, shortly after 1pm that day, and despite several searches soon after, a body has never been found.

From day one of the trial, the Crown told the jury that its case was founded primarily on circumstantial evidence, and even with physical evidence so sparse, the Crown has seen several exhibits being withheld for various reasons.

The trial has revealed holes in the investigation, to include the labelling and disclosure of evidence.

The defence challenged the tendering of many of these pieces of evidence citing violations of rules of evidence and procedural law.

Justice Colin Williams ruled in favour of the defence in many of these instances forcing the Crown to scrap their plans.

Yesterday, an investigator in the murder case told the court that his investigation of Gomes led him to review footage at the alleged victim’s workplace.

He said he made “certain observations” at 1.10pm on the recording, but the prosecution did not ask any follow-up questions in that regard.

He went on to share that day two of the search for James led to the discovery of a cellular phone at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

He mentioned that the phone belonged to Gomes, but was quickly redirected.

The retired officer went on to say that he visited a number of business places to include Dees Service Station, the Epicurean supermarket, a machinery shop and so on, where he viewed footage from the cameras and observations were made.

The witness then fast-forwarded to many days after the incident when he conducted a video-recorded interview with the accused.

He said that he asked Gomes where he went after leaving the Epicurean on the day of the incident and he responded, Paynters.

He then asked the accused what route he took, and he said Old Parham Road.

The witness said that he then probed for specifics and the witness did not answer his question, but insisted that he is innocent.

According to the investigator, he then asked Gomes why he withdrew $2,600 from James’ Credit Union account on the day she disappeared.

The accused told the police that the money was to fix the running board of his car and pay his insurance.

But again, no follow-up questions were put to the witness by the prosecution.

It was the jury that asked the witness what time the withdrawal was made, and he said 8.26am.

Meanwhile, the witness read a statement he got from the accused, and in it, the accused said he did not pick up James that day because she’d said that she had a ride. He proceeded to run several errands and then went home and texted her.

He shared that he woke up to no messages from her and decided to call her, but didn’t reach her.

He said he went to the movies with a girl and sneaked calls to James but never got her.

He then said that he later got calls from James’ mother, but did not answer to avoid any drama since he was on a date.

He went to a party after the date, and then went home alone, stopping at a gambling shop.

The question now is, will the prosecution fill the gaps later in the trial?

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