GUILTY PLEA ENDS MURDER TRIAL

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Two days into the trial of Trevor “Jojo” Boston, 28, and Jamarlie “Marley” Christian, 23, the case came to an end yesterday as one man admitted to murdering Steve Reynolds Mingo and the prosecution withdrew the murder charge against the other.
Boston pleaded guilty after Antonio Smith, who was previously charged for the murder but admitted to manslaughter earlier this week, gave the court details of the role that each of them played in the commission of the crime.
Although Christian walked away from the murder charge, he was however convicted of conspiracy with Boston and Smith to commit robbery, a charge the Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Armstrong re-introduced following Smith’s testimony.
Smith, who turned out to be the prosecution’s star witness, testified that although he accompanied Boston to Mingo’s home, he did not shoot or intend to harm anyone.
When he was cross examined by defence counsel, Sherfield Bowen and John Fuller, he denied their allegations that he was the mastermind and that he turned state witness in order to get away on the murder charge and be convicted for the lesser offence of manslaughter.
“I don’t prefer anything [manslaughter or murder charge],” Smith said. “I just went with what my lawyer said because I didn’t go there to murder or manslaughter anybody. I just got caught up; people make mistakes. I didn’t plan to kill anyone. I am not blaming Marley, he didn’t shoot anyone.”
Fuller, who represented Christian who was only 15 years old when the incident occurred on February 21, 2009, pointed out that Smith is the eldest of the trio and was lying when he claimed Christian was the mastermind behind the robbery that resulted in the murder.
But the witness remained firm that Christian came to him and Boston on the morning of the incident and told them that he knew a house they could rob and get money, and they all agreed to go.
Smith said while approaching the house, Christian said he could not go any further because he was already implicated in a break-in at the same house a week before where jewellery, clothing and money were stolen.
Smith, now 29 years old, said they went into the yard and he stood outside as a lookout when he heard wrestling coming from the house and when he stood by the door and looked inside he saw the deceased and Boston engaged in a scuffle.
The witness testified that Boston had a gun in his right hand. Smith said the murder weapon looked like a .38 gun.
Smith said he heard an explosion and as he was attempting to flee the yard, over the fence, he heard two other shots.
The witness added that he didn’t need to ask Boston if he killed Mingo because, “I just knew he did.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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