Exhibits in murder trial have been lost, court told
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: May 07, 2013
Exhibits in the Kofhe Goodman murder trial were mistakenly “discarded” by workmen at the Central Detective Unit, a court heard yesterday.
Goodman, who is also known as Edwardo Ferguson, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 11-year-old Marco Archer, at his trial before Justice Bernard Turner.
Prosecutors say Marco was killed between September 23 and 28, 2011.
Crime scene technician Constable Bruce Chisholm said pathologist Dr. Caryn Sands gave him a sheet and a plastic bag after he attended the autopsy of a decomposed male child on September 29.
Witnesses who discovered the maggot-covered body in bushes behind a five-unit condominium complex on September 28 said the body was tied up in a sheet with a plastic bag over the head.
Chisholm said morgue attendants had doused the sheet and bag with gasoline to kill the maggots.
He said he placed those items on a fence in the back of the Central Detective Unit compound to dry before he submitted them to the Forensic Lab.
However, Chisholm said he discovered the items were missing when he returned about three hours later to check if they had dried.
Chisholm said an investigation later revealed that the workmen who were doing repairs on the building discarded the sheet and bag.
Nevertheless, Chisholm said the items were never recovered although the grounds and dumpsters were searched.
Questioned by Goodman’s lawyer, Geoffrey Farquharson, Chisholm said he did not regret placing the items outside to dry.
Chisholm said he did not place the items inside the forensic dryer at the lab because the gasoline on them would have caused an explosion.
However, Chisholm agreed that the maggots could have provided important evidence regarding the time of death.
Chisholm added that he had not studied forensic entomology.
Also testifying was Archer’s sister, Valkeisha Archer, who said she last saw her brother alive around 4:30 p.m. on September 23.
Justice Turner asked Archer to remove a memorial pin with Marco’s photo before she began her testimony.
Archer said her brother came to her house at Claridge Road in his Columbus Primary school uniform sometime after 4 p.m.
She said he told her he was going to his home at Brougham Street.
Archer said she sent her son to accompany Marco to ensure he got on a Route 15A bus.
She said her mother and sister came to her house around 9 p.m. and asked if she had seen Marco. She said her mother told her that Marco had not returned home after she sent him to the shop.
Archer testified that her brother “was not the type to roam” so she knew that something had happened to him.
Archer said the family began a search in the Brougham and Peter Street areas. She said they also went to a farm on Marshall Road.
The trial continues today.