Defendants give unsworn statements in murder trial involving Soufriere family

Defendants give unsworn statements in murder trial involving Soufriere family

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


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