Thu | Apr 2, 2020

King Valley Trial | Lawyer suggests witness’ testimony influenced by losing lover to his client

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 2:39 PM

Danae Hyman, Gleaner Writer

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes today scoffed at a defence attorney’s line of questioning when he made suggestions to the prosecution’s star witness in the King Valley gang trial that he was upset with his client because of a woman. 

During cross examination, defence attorney Donald Bryan, who is representing alleged gang member Rannaldo ‘Ratty’ McKennis , asked the witness if he was upset with his client because he took away his girlfriend. 

“Ratty never yet tek nuh woman from me, is her sister me did deh with,” the witness, a self-proclaimed former member of the gang, responded.

Seemingly annoyed with the question, Sykes asked if that’s how they referred to women. 

“I didn’t know we still used that language when talking about women in the 21st century. Better to say persuaded to come along with him. You say take away as if to say she was in bondage and needed to be liberated,” Sykes remarked. 

As the courtroom erupted into laughter, Bryan agreed with Sykes, arguing that the judge’s remarks rang true in light of the current climate. 

Continuing with his cross-examination, Bryan argued that when the witness testified that he and his client used ropes to cast riders of their bikes he made no reference to his client in his initial 36-page statement to the police.

Bryan then suggested to the witness, whose name cannot be revealed because of a court order, that he is making up his testimony as he goes along and that he and his client were never together in any crime. 

“What I did with Ratty and the other gang members, I am here to talk about that and no one can say I am telling any lies on them,” the witness replied. 

However, Bryan asserted that the 23-year-old man was lying because he and his client do not get along. 

Carlington Godfrey, McKennis, Christon Grant, Carlington Godfrey, Lindell Powell, Derval Williams, Hopeton Sankey, Copeland Sankey and Sean Suckra are on trial for various breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) 2014, commonly called the anti-gang legislation, in relation to crimes committed between 2016 and 2018.

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