Fri | Apr 19, 2024
Beachy Stout Murder Trial

Defence says prosecution case’s ‘make-up rubbing off’

Published:Wednesday | February 21, 2024 | 2:05 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Everton McDonald, otherwise known as 'Beachy Stout'.
Everton McDonald, otherwise known as 'Beachy Stout'.

The defence representing murder accused Everton ‘Beachy Stout’ McDonald began its closing arguments on Tuesday in what lead attorney Christopher Townsend told the jury pool was not a difficult case.

Townsend told the seven-member jury that his approach in representing McDonald – a Portland businessman charged alongside Oscar Barnes for the July 20, 2020 murder of McDonald’s second wife, Tonia – is to “rub off the make-up” that the Crown has used in parading evidence for a near-six-month trial.

The accused men are also charged with conspiracy to murder after an amendment to the indictment on Monday.

Townsend told the jury, which includes three women, that it was the duty of the prosecution to prove its case against the accused.

“The evidence that they parade before you must be capable of belief, because if you don’t believe it, then that’s the end of it,” Townsend said.

He told the jurors that the prosecution’s case primarily rested on three witnesses, two of whom he considered main and another, a “just in case”.

Those witnesses, Townsend noted, included Denvalyn ‘Bubbla’ Minott.

Townsend said the Crown used the men as foundation and skilfully so.

“Have you ever seen this meme, where you see this very pretty girl in make-up, long hair flowing and then that girl is de-constructed, make-up tek off, hair (false) gone, false teeth come out and then you see an entirely different person. So what the Crown did was to put on make-up on their case to hide the major issues,” Townsend said.

He said the main pillars are the first witness and Minott because it is from what they said that everything flows.

Townsend said Minott had an interest to serve because he got a deal after taking part in the murder.

Minott was sentenced to 19 years and 10 months in prison for his role after he confessed and agreed to become a prosecution witness against McDonald and Barnes.

DEAL

“His deal is ‘Come and tell me this and I will give you freedom’. It is called plea bargain and we do it here and it’s done in other jurisdictions, but the reality of it is that it compromises witnesses,” Townsend said.

The attorney pleaded to the jurors that it was up to them to know what aspects of the prosecution’s case have been compromised.

He said that, for his part, Minott got a get-out-of jail ticket like he was playing monopoly.

“The document was served on us. That was a condition of him getting out of jail, ‘not only to point fingers at somebody else and get my freedom as a result, but I must go lie because I am also a liar’,” Townsend said.

Townsend told the jurors that, in six years, Minott will be out and at shopping mall with them.

“They brought someone here who they know is a liar and they say to you, having brought this witness here, this witness having lied to them the prosecution, they selected which lie they wanted to put before you, because they knew of the other lies,” he said, further referencing ‘rubbing off the make-up’.

Turning to the first witness, Townsend said the evidence he gave in relation to his connection to Minott, taking of cell phones and burning of cell phones and call data, was a lie.

“If you accept what Bubbla said, that he knows [the first witness] long time, it means that [the first witness] is a liar. So Bubbla would be calling [the first witness] a liar. And if you accept what [the first witness] said, then Bubbla is a liar. So, even between the witnesses themselves that the prosecution has presented to you, they are calling each other liars,” Townsend said.

He said one of the things that struck him was that, according to the first witness, he hid all the exhibits.

“But when [the first witness] was taken to all of the dump sites, the police recovered nothing at all. So, if you dump all of these things and the police never recovered one, not even a little something. You say you throw things inna the ocean, the police have resources to find things all kind of places … . How far outta sea him (the first witness) could throw that?” Townsend questioned.

The attorney said he intends to continue taking off the make-up today.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com