Defendants give unsworn statements in murder trial involving Soufriere family

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first_imgLocalNews Defendants give unsworn statements in murder trial involving Soufriere family by: – March 8, 2012 27 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Three siblings: Herbert Xavier, Lauretta Xavier and Manuella Williams of Soufriere who are on trial for the murder of their brother Harrison Williams on 24th September, 2010 opted to give unsworn statements from the dock when the trial resumed on Thursday.The state through the director of public prosecutions Gene Pestaina closed its case on Wednesday after calling seven witnesses to testify and a visit to the crime scene in Soufriere.Herbert XavierWhen the trial resumed on Thursday morning the Defendants were told by Justice Brian Cottle that there were three choices available to them; to stand in the dock and make an unsworn statement and not be questioned by the prosecutor, jurors or himself, take the witness stand which includes taking an oath and be cross examined by the prosecutor or to simply say nothing.All three siblings chose to give an unsworn statement and proceeded to explain their side of the incident as it unfolded on the night of Friday 24th September, 2010.Thirty-two year old Herbert Xavier who is the father of two children a boy and a girl; one 3 years old and the other 2 years old told the Court in his statement that he was “only defending himself”.Herbert explained that he was standing by the roadside “leaning on a cistern when he saw a vehicle coming down the road. I blocked it [with a drum] because I really wanted to talk to him” but the vehicle reversed so he removed the drum from the road. When the vehicle came back down and stopped Herbert said he told the driver of the vehicle; “Not to tell my girlfriend anything about me” to which the driver replied “I did not tell her anything”. Herbert said; “I told him fine when he see my girlfriend not to tell her anything” proceeded to his yard which was in close proximity to where the vehicle was parked and met his sister Lauretta who held him and assisted him in walking “up the yard”.According to Herbert, while walking in the yard, “he came with a piece of 2×2 then he struck me on my back real hard, then we begin wrestling. I was afraid then to defend myself I strike him back then he leave the yard and go and he fell in the drain”.Herbert concluded; “I never hit him out of the yard, I never leave the yard, I was afraid. When the police came I told them the same story that I was only defending myself. I didn’t mean to kill him, I didn’t mean to hurt him but it was self defence”. Herbert never identified who the driver of the vehicle was or mentioned his brother’s name during his unsworn statement. Lauretta XavierHis sister 36 years old Lauretta Xavier told the Court in her statement that although she and her brother Harrison were not close they “were behaving like brother and sister”. She would often bring him gifts when she returned from her trips to Antigua where her daughter’s father lives and assisted him in with cash and a dress for their mother’s funeral. She said however that she did not like her brother’s wife Jacklyn “because of the way she used to treat my brothers when they go by Harrison”. She spoke of an incident which occurred at Harrison’s birthday party when Henryson was asked to leave the party by Harrison’s wife Jacklyn as she feared that he would “interfere with her girl children”.Lauretta also explained that her sister Manuella and her sister in law Jacklyn “was getting along very well they used to buy the same curtain and artificial flowers”.According to Lauretta on the night of the incident she was getting dressed after having a shower when she heard a loud quarrel by the road. She was called by her sister Manuella who at her home, which is usual on a Friday as she would come to do her laundry, that her brothers Harrison and Herbert were “quarrelling by the road”. She went outside to investigate what was occurring met her brothers arguing, went between them, held Herbert bringing him in their yard. According to her statement at that same time Herbert’s girlfriend Gaily was walking towards them and Harrison called out to her asking her “girl I tell you nothing?” At that point she pushed “them in the yard” and Harrison left the yard walking towards his vehicle.Lauretta said she saw Harrison coming back towards the yard with a stick in his hand which he took from the “left side of his van” saying; I killing all of all you in the yard tonight” and struck Herbert who was standing behind her on his back with the wood. At that point, “I hold him and told him come out in our yard you cannot come in our yard, I pushed him and told him come out in our yard you have no right to come in our yard” but Harrison grabbed her, pulled her, tossed her on a fence. She then fell in a gutter and “knocked out” but didn’t know for what length of time she remained there.According to Lauretta statement; when she regained consciousness she saw Harrison “lying on the other side of the road with his head in the drain and his feet in the gutter, then I saw somebody hitting him. The person hit him until when I see the wood spin and break”. When she first tried to get up to assist Harrison, she fell back down because of her injuries and giddiness. On her second attempt to stand she took “the person and bring them in the yard”.She explained that she had no problem with Harrison as the issue between Herbert and Harrison was not her problem, she was “just putting peace”. “Jacklyn said I hit Harrison but I did not have no problem with Harrison, he was my brother and I love him. I was just putting peace between Herbert and Harrison”, Lauretta concluded.Manuella Williams Meanwhile Manuella Williams told the Court that she had a very good relationship with her brother Harrison and his wife Jacklyn, “Harrison had 6 sisters and I was the only one who was dealing with his wife” a tearful Manuella said.She explained that her relationship with her sister in law changed and she did not know why however a cousin informed of allegations which Jacklyn had made against her claiming that she had “taken her wedding cake, her children’s hair and money and throw it in my mother’s grave”.That allegation she explained bothered her a lot because “I even end up trying to take my life because I saw the way my brother and I grew up and we were so good”.One the night of the incident she explained, “I was sitting on my sister’s porch when I heard Herbert and Harrison arguing” and called out to her sister Lauretta to tell her that they were arguing but she never left the porch that night. “My lord; I wasn’t in the fighting at all. He was my brother and I love him I would never hit him or kill him we grew up together, he was my favorite brother my lord.”Manuella, in tears explained that on the day of her brother’s funeral while she was at the prison; “my lord my children in the court I don’t want them to hear what I’m going to say because I tried to kill myself”.The defence team closed their case after the unsworn statements and told Justice Cottle that they did not intend to call any witnesses.Director of public prosecutions Gene Pestaina, Dawn Yearwood-Stewart who represents Lauretta Xavier and Wayne Norde who represents Herbert Xavier all presented their address to the jury on Thursday.Ronald Charles who represents Manuella Williams did not address the jury.Justice Cottle will give the jury directions when Court resumes on Friday.Dominica Vibes News Sharelast_img read more


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first_imgGLOBAL  SOCCERFormer Super Eagles ace, Osaze Odemwingie, made an unceremonious exit from Rotherham United via a text message to his manager after a short spell at the English club. On Monday, he was unveiled by an Indonesian club, Madura United. Many are worried about Odemwingie’s new port of call. Does this mean he may never play top flight football again, Kunle Adewale writes Osaze Odemwingie on Monday joined Indonesia’s top-flight club, Madura United, to help them navigate League 1. The former Nigerian international who had featured for La Louvière, Lille, Lokomotiv Moscow, West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Stoke City, Bristol City and Rotherham United now joins the likes of Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel, Odion Ighalo, Obafemi Martins that are plying their trade in Asia.Call him the journeyman of Nigerian football and one would not be far from the obvious. Since his breakthrough from the then Nigerian Premier League side, Bendel Insurance to Belgian club, La Louviere, Odemwingie had gone on to play for seven other European clubs. It was therefore no surprise to many when Osaze turned his attention to Indonesia.The 35-year-old Nigerian winger will be tested first in a few exhibition matches in Cilacap, Central Java and Yogyakarta.“The agreement with the player is 99 per cent complete as we’ve agreed on the pre-contract conditions,” Madura United team manager, Haruna Soemitro, said via the club’s social media accounts.“Odemwingie’s quality conforms to the team’s current needs, yet we need to see his performance during the pre-season matches in Cilacap and Yogyakarta next week,” Soemitro added.When Odemwingie signed a short-term contract with Rotherham United after an uneventful stint with Stoke City, many saw the move as new lease of life for the Beijing Olympics silver medalist to rediscover his form but it was not to be as loss of form and indiscipline characterised his stay with the Millers.With offers not coming from main stream European clubs, speculation about his next port of call had been a subject of discussion, with many of the opinion that it might be another “missionary journey” this time to the Far East or United States, which are generally considered as the retirement haven for players.Paul Okuku, in a telephone chat with THISDAY from his base in the United States noted that it was not totally over for the former Bendel Insurance player as far European football was concerned, but he admitted that age was no more on his side to contend with the physical and tactical nature of European football.“Though I have to admit that age is not really on his side and injury had not really helped matters, with determination and right frame of mind he can still play in top flight European football. He however has to be in the right shape to contend with the physicality of European football.“After all, we’ve seen players play at the highest level at age 35 and above. Luigi Buffon is still playing in the World Cup qualifiers for Italy even at the age of 39, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is above 35 and still doing well for Manchester United. So, Odemwingie could still play at the top level in Europe if he conditions himself well.“However, if he feels it’s time to have a stint in the Far East; it’s still not a bad idea. After all, there are players in the league in these countries that are still representing their countries very well,” Okoku said.Odemwingie was born in Tashkent, Uzbek, to a Nigerian father (Peter Odemwingie Snr.) and a Russian mother (Raisa), both of whom were medical students. He moved with his family to Nigeria when he was two years old before returning to Russia to complete his secondary education. Whilst living in Russia, he played in the youth teams at KAMAZ and CSKA Moscow. At the age of 17, he moved back to Nigeria and after spending a short time with amateurs AS Racines Lagos, he became a professional with Nigeria Premier League side, Bendel Insurance.After an unsuccessful trial with Anderlecht, he signed for La Louviere in 2003 and made his mark by helping the club to win the Belgian Cup in his first season, which also earned the club qualification into the UEFA Cup.Scoring nine goals in 44 appearances attracted the attention of the French Ligue 1 side, Lille and before long, he was a starter in the first team playing for the French side. Famous for his technique and pace, the Nigerian player was monitored by a number of prestigious European clubs.In 2007, he signed for Lokomotiv Moscow for a reported fee of US$14 million on a four-year contract. In three seasons for Lokomotiv, Odemwingie became the driving force of the attack and one of their most important players. During his time there he managed 21 goals in the Russian Premier League from 75 games.In 2010, Odemwingie signed for English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion for an undisclosed fee on a two-year contract, with the option of a third year in the club’s favour. Later in August, it was announced that Odemwingie had signed a new three-year agreement with West Bromwich Albion, after a £4,000,000 bid from Wigan Athletic was turned down by the club.In 2013, Odemwingie signed a two-year contract with Cardiff City for £2.25 million. Speaking after the move Odemwingie stated that he was eager for a fresh start in his career.He developed a good relationship with manager Malky Mackay who stated that Odemwingie “is a joy to work with.” However Mackay was replaced with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in January 2014 and Odemwingie fell out of favour.In January 2014, Odemwingie joined Stoke City on an 18-month contract in a player-exchange with Kenwyne Jones, a move he described as a “step forward”.A knee ligament injury however ruled him out for most of the season, managing eight appearances. After struggling for playing time with Stoke in 2015-16, Odemwingie joined Championship side Bristol City on loan in March 2016. He played seven times for the Robins scoring twice. He was released by Stoke at the end of the 2015–16 season.Odemwingie represented Nigeria at the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Nations Cup. In 2008, he was selected as an over-age player for Nigeria at the Beijing Olympic, scoring in the quarter-final against Côte d’Ivoire as the team earned the silver medal after losing the final to defending champions, Argentina,Odemwingie was also part of the Nigeria team to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but dispute with Stephen Keshi cost him a place to the 2013 AFCON, which Nigeria won. He was however named in the team to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which may as well be his last appearance in the colours of Nigeria.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more


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first_imgA recent study indicates fires in the Yukon Flat region of Alaska are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought.Download AudioThe study by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists overturns old assumptions and paints a troubling portrait of future climate change.Alaska has seen record-breaking wildfire seasons in recent years. Credit: Division of Forestry. Healy fire.When you set out to model an ecosystem, it’s important to have data, a lot of data. That’s why UAF researchers Dave McGuire and Helene Genet were excited about a study in the Yukon Flats looking at charcoal deposits in lake-bed sediments. It gave them 1,200 years worth of data.Genet, McGuire and their colleagues wanted to model fire regimes in the region and how they effected the carbon cycle. The sediment data. McGuire says, were revealing.“Fire frequency has been greater in the last few decades than it’s been over the last 1,200 years. That suggest things are changing quite dramatically now.”Carbon is a key ingredient in global climate change. In nature, plants take up carbon dioxide and store it. Some of it is respired back to the atmosphere, but much of finds its way into soils.In the Arctic and subarctic, that carbon is often locked up for longer periods because of permafrost.Fires moving across the landscape can release a lot of carbon. And researchers assusmed released carbon spurred more plant growth, balancing the books. That assumption might be revised now.By modeling the effect of long-term fire history on the ecosystem, Genet says it looks like more carbon is being released than captured.“The way we have spun up the model before leads to an underestimation of the carbon loss in Interior Alaska or at least in regions that are exposed to fire regimes.”Genet and McGuire’s study just looks at the Yukon Flats. But if the same conditions occur in similar Arctic and sub-Arctic boreal forests, where roughly a third of the Earth’s terrestrial carbon is stored, the implications to climate change could be dire.last_img read more