From the Courts
March 1, 2013
Witnesses fail to identify Bajan man as shooter

None of the prosecution witnesses called in the Sean Baptiste murder retrial were able to finger Barbadian Anderson “Bounty” Williams as the man who shot and killed Baptiste on March 1, 2007.{{more}}

As a result, a 12-member jury, on Wednesday, February 20 at the High Court, found Williams not guilty of Baptiste’s murder, just shortly after 1 p.m.

Williams, 31, was convicted on March 9, 2009, but a retrial was ordered after he successfully appealed his matter before the OECS Court of Appeal.

In her summation, Williams’ lawyer, Nicole Sylvester, said the only evidence that the prosecution could have adduced was the evidence of what her client said in his police statement.

“There were no eyewitnesses, nor any circumstantial evidence that would in any way bring what the accused said into any challenge,” Sylvester said.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Sylvester noted that the prosecution, led by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Colin John, had little evidence to go on.

In her address to the jury, a passionate Sylvester took a few lines from the 2012 calypso of Brother Ebony called “Nothing at all” and put her own spin on it.

“There’s a chiney name long and he has a wall and rose have a hall, but this is a case where the prosecution has nothing at all…,” Sylvester submitted.

Sylvester said the prosecution did not present any photographs, no exhibit of the gun nor any spent shells.

“They didn’t have anything at all. Even if you disbelieve everything the accused said, you still have nothing at all,” she continued.

In a statement given by Williams to the police, he said that the deceased drew a gun and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed. Williams said that was when he drew his weapon and shot Baptiste. In that same statement, Williams told police officer Sergeant 222 Selwyn Jack that earlier that morning the deceased had pulled a gun on him and said: “Yuh think is all yo alone get gun.” Williams admitted that he did not answer Baptiste, but went to “Gary’s shop” where the tragic incident took place.

All the prosecution witnesses told the court that they heard a loud explosion in the area of Gary’s shop, but none of them saw the incident.

Sylvester said one prosecution witness, Kurt Providence, told the court that he saw Williams with a gun, but said he did not see the incident.

Assistant DPP John, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, conceded that none of the witnesses actually saw the shooting. John said the witness who came close to linking Williams to the scene was Providence.

However, John said he too said he heard an explosion, saw the deceased on the ground and saw when WIlliams ran with a firearm in his hand.

Williams, who is in the country illegally, was kept in police custody after his acquittal.

Counsel Patina Knights, Lakeisha John and Vilette Benjamin appeared with Sylvester.

Crown counsel Kareem Nelson appeared with John, while Justice Wesley James presided.(KW)