Murdered child’s parents sure about killer’s identity

| 30/11/2015
Cayman News Service

Jeremiah Barnes

(CNS): Devon Anglin’s defence counsel sought to cast doubt on the eyewitness testimony of the parents of Jeremiah Barnes, who was shot and killed when he was just four years old when the family stopped to get gas at Hell Service Station in West Bay in February 2010. Giving evidence last week in the retrial of Anglin for their child’s murder, both the father, Andy Barnes, and the child’s mother, Dorlisa Barnes, were adamant and consistent that they had got a clear site of Anglin’s face before he pulled up a bandana to cover the lower part of his face and that they were in no doubt that they recognized him.

The gunman that night shot several rounds at the white Chevrolet Malibu which contained the parents and their two young sons, Jeremiah and his brother Jamaul, intending to kill Andy Barnes, the crown says, but accidently shooting and killing the child in the back seat of the car instead.

Defence counsel David Fisher QC concentrated on inconsistencies in their testimonies with previous statements and also highlighted the animosity between the men, who had once been friends but at the time of the shooting were members of rival gangs, and Barnes’ own criminal record.

Barnes and Anglin had known each other all of Anglin’s life, but Barnes had moved from the Birch Tree Hill part of West Bay into the Logwood area, where different “groups” associated. After Barnes’ best friend, Carlo Webster, had been shot and killed in 2009, Andy Barnes said on the stand that he had known that Devon had been the one that had shot him.

Under cross examination, where the defence sought to highlight the antagonism between the men as a reason why Barnes might have believed Anglin to be the killer, Barnes agreed  that there was “bad blood” and suggested Anglin was trying to kill him because he believed he, Barnes, would retaliate for Webster’s murder, something he denied he was going to do.

Barnes had initially claimed that he saw Anglin in the gray Honda Accord, which transported the gunman to the gas station, when it arrived on the scene but later admitted that he had assumed it to be Anglin. He had also wrongly described the clothes the gunman wore, describing instead clothes that he had seen Anglin in that day.

However, Barnes, who was at times visibly upset and others frustrated and angry at the line of questioning, said he may have been mistaken about colours but he had no doubt about who had tried to kill him and who had shot his son.

Barnes was evasive about his own past dealings with drug convictions and incidents of violence or threats of violence, saying he could not remember and had put that behind him. However, he had been shot himself in the leg and there were many people who wished him harm, the defence claimed.

Dorlisa Barnes testimony changed in only one significant respect. Fisher said that in her testimony in the retrial she had for the first time said that she saw the gunman pull something up over his face and he suggested that she had added this to support the evidence given by Andy Barnes.

However, Jeremiah’s mother remained adamant that she had clearly seen Anglin’s very distinctive eyes and that he had killed her baby.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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