Jurors Find Lady who Killed Boyfriend Guilty; Lawyer Requests New Trial

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Monrovia – Johnette Pinky Abu has been found guilty by a verdict by jurors at Criminal Court “A” for the murder of her boyfriend.

Report By Bettie Johnson-Mboyo / [email protected]

But her lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Johnson, says the verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence produced by the prosecution.

According to the verdict, nine found the defendant guilty while three voted for her.

Cllr. Johnson, in the motion for a new trial, said the indictment against his client failed to state the date and time that the crime was committed, adding that the indictment “lacks particularity and specificity”.

In the motion for new trial filed before Criminal Court “A” on January 2, 2019, it states that during the trial, the coroner report failed to meet the burden of proof of the cause of death because it did not show that the alleged murder weapon was examined and moreover the coroner who is not a medical practitioner cannot establish the cause of death.

Cllr. Johnson said the murder weapon is not the weapon retrieved from the crime scene because witness Allen maintained that the knife from the crime scene was long and blue, a statement he said the prosecution did not rebut and is deemed to be true as a matter of law.

The motion furthered that the prosecution failed to do an autopsy to establish the cause of death, adding that during the proceeding state prosecutors failed to meet the burden of proof in order to establish the scientific cause of death since the murder weapon was in dispute.

In count four of the motion, Cllr. Johnson said witnesses Genevieve and Cecelia Barclay testified that they did not know the knife that was retrieved from the scene while witness Titus Allen Sebo testified that the knife he retrieved from the crime scene along with Wesley Doe was not the knife produced by the prosecution.

He said there exist “reasonable doubt” which guarantees the acquittal of the defendant but the jury intentionally failed to acknowledge the doubt.

“For said legal errors, movant asks the court to set aside the verdict by the trial jury and order a new trial,” said Cllr.Johnson.

The motion averred that there is no investigative report as required for the prosecution to advance proof of its presumption of the crime alleged and therefore there was no prima facie case established by the prosecutors before even considering a reasonable doubt standard.

Cllr. Johnson said the prosecution engaged in misconduct and that on several occasions, Cornelius Wennie made inflammatory and prejudicial statements before the trial jury which the court fined him US$50.00.

He requested the court to take judicial notice of its own record, adding that there will always be a new trial in a matter when the prosecution is guilty of misconduct which adversely affects the rights of the defendant in a criminal trial.

The motion for a new trial stated that the murder weapon marked “p/3” was not confirmed by the court and has no link or connectivity to the defendant of the crime alleged.

“Moreover, there is no fingerprint of the defendant (Pinky) on the alleged murder weapon; there is no forensic report to show that the defendant fingerprints on the murder weapon.

“The jury considered facts outside the evidence presented in court which in the mind of the defense the jury was taking evidence and sentiments from outside the court proceedings,” the motion said.

Cllr. Johnson averred that the prosecution produced witnesses that failed to corroborate their testimony and to establish any connection of chains of evidence under the requirements of circumstantial evidence in a murder trial.

There were several law citations cited in a motion namely: the Gould Vs. RL [1942] LRSC 14; 7 LLR 351 (1942) (6 February 1942) Frank Gould Appellant, v Republic of Liberia Appellee.

Presiding Judge Roosevelt Willie is expected to decide on the motion Monday, January 7, 2019.

The motion was filed prior to Judge Willie’s ruling on the jury’s verdict.

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

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