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Goodman’s murder trial adjourns abruptly

  • The family of Marco Archer outside the Supreme Court. Second from left is Trophiema Meadows, the mother of the 11-year-old boy. AHVIA J. CAMPBELL

  • Attorney Geoffrey Farquharson.

Guardian Senior Reporter

Published: May 01, 2013

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The murder trial of Kofhe Goodman adjourned abruptly yesterday after tensions reached a boiling point.

Goodman’s lawyer Geoffrey Farquharson accused Garvin Gaskin, the deputy director of public prosecutions, of misconduct as he continued to grill crime scene officer Constable 3003 Denria Johnson over her part in the murder investigation.

Goodman, who is on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison, is accused of the murder of 11-year-old Marco Archer.

He is accused of causing Archer’s death sometime between September 23 and 28, 2011. He has pleaded not guilty.

Johnson collected clothing from a garbage bag outside a five unit pink and white condominium complex at Yorkshire Drive, Cable Beach, on September 28.

Police found the maggot-covered body of a male in bushes behind the complex.

During his cross-examination of Johnson, who is in her fourth day of testimony, Farquharson  alleged that Gaskin was “gesturing to the witness”.

Farquharson claimed that he had witnessed the gestures on three occasions.

He made the outburst as he quizzed Johnson over her crime scene investigation experience. Farquharson repeatedly suggested that a crime scene could suggest possible suspects.

Denying the allegation, Gaskin told Farquharson to “keep my name out your mouth”.

The heated atmosphere continued after presiding Justice Bernard Turner excused the jury. Farquharson eventually stormed out of the court.

Turner adjourned the trial to today at 11 a.m. at the request of Farquharson.

Farquharson on Monday suggested that Johnson mishandled clothing that was found in the garbage bag.

When she first testified on April 24, Constable Johnson said she collected a Bob Marley T-shirt, a pair of tan pants, blue striped boxer shorts and a pair of Nike slippers from the scene.

Johnson said the shirt appeared black because it was wet, but it was discovered the shirt was really “dark gray” once it was dried in a forensic dryer to maintain the integrity of the exhibits.

Johnson said the shirt was not in the same state as it was when she submitted it to the lab as it was now “cut up”.

Farquharson showed Johnson a photograph of the ‘wet’ clothing on a piece of butcher paper taken at the Crime Scene Unit on Thompson Boulevard.

Farquharson said, “Never have we seen such a miracle since Moses and the burning bush.  The clothes are wet but the paper is dry.”

Johnson explained that the clothes were not “dripping wet” but “damp”.

Gaskin, Neil Brathwaite, the assistant director of public prosecutions, and Darell Taylor appear for the Crown.

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