Accused hitman testifies
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Oct 04, 2013
The man who prosecutors say took a contract on banker Stephen Sherman’s life denied involvement in the crime yesterday.
Janaldo Farrington waived his right to remain silent and took the witness stand.
Prosecutors say Farrington murdered Sherman outside his home in Yamacraw Shores on February 17, 2012.
Sherman’s wife and Cordero Bethell were acquitted of the murder-for-hire plot yesterday due to lack of evidence.
Farrington said police forced him to sign a prepared confession after his arrest on February 24.
He said police never told him the reason for his arrest or gave him the opportunity to consult an attorney.
Farrington said when he refused to sign the document, one of six officers struck him in the chest with a pair of handcuffs. He said they placed a fish bag laced with ammonia over his head twice.
Farrington said he was afraid so he signed the document without reading it.
Farrington denied suggestions from prosecutor Sandradee Gardiner that he was a cold-hearted killer, who murdered Sherman for financial gain.
Farrington said the first time he saw the home where Sherman was killed was in crime scene photographs presented at the trial.
He said he ordinarily resided in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, but had come to New Providence to appear before Justice Jon Isaacs “for a transfer” because he wanted to go to Eleuthera for work.
He claimed that homicide detectives Corporal Jamal Evans and Sergeant Basil Evans, the officers who took the confession, did not like him because they “always accusing me of things”.
In his opening statement, Farrington’s lawyer Murrio Ducille told the jury that his client did not have to say anything.
He pointed out that the description of the “short, very dark” killer given by prosecution witness Tenaj Hunt did not match Farrington.
Closing submissions begin on Monday at 10:30 a.m.