Crown sums up case of nightclub shooting

| 11/12/2017

(CNS): Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran summed up the crown’s case against four defendants Friday regarding a shooting outside Fete nightclub in February. Now the jury has to consider the part they played, if any, in a catalog of accusations, from attempted murder to the possession of an illegal gun. The prosecutor says that Malik and Tashika Mothen, Kashwayne Hewitt and Daniella Tibbetts were all involved in a violent joint enterprise in which Daniel Bennett and Carlney Campbell were assaulted and shot as a result of an ongoing violent feud.

The crown’s case depends largely on the evidence from the two victims, CCTV footage and circumstantial evidence. All four have denied most of the charges against them, though Hewitt has admitted possessing the illegal Colt 45 used in the violent incident, which was found in a toilet system at Tibbetts’ home in West Bay.

Only Tashika Mothen opted to take the stand during the trial in her own defence, but her evidence was dramatically interrupted last week when her eight-week-old baby was hospitalized owing to a serious illness. However, before the crown began summing up the case against her and the other three defendants, Mothen did finish giving her evidence, in which she denied knowing anything about who shot Bennett and Campbell.

The crown contends that she was instrumental in the attempt to kill both Bennett and Campbell, who say that it was Mothen who started the altercation with Bennett because she believes he was with the two men who shot at her during another violent incident in McField Square in 2015.

The crown claims she argued with Bennett outside the West Bay Road club while her husband went to fetch a gun and then stood watching as Malik Mothen assaulted Bennett with the gun and then shot at him as he ran away; then Malik Mothen was involved in a violent attacked on Campbell, who is Bennett’s cousin, before he handed the gun to Hewitt. Hewitt then shot and wounded Campbell as he lay beaten on the ground.

Moran claimed that Hewitt, who is married to Mothen’s cousin, was a new member of his group or gang, having arrived in Cayman from Jamaica just a few weeks before; the decision by Mothen to hand the gun to Hewitt was to test him to “see what the new boy was made of”.

The actual shooting is not caught on CCTV but footage of Mothen and Hewitt show the men just before and just after the shooting, including images that clearly show Hewitt with the weapon seconds after Campbell was shot.

Moran pointed to the changing stories that Hewitt gave to the police about his involvement and what he said was a pack of lies that Tashika Mothen recounted in her interviews. He said the version of events she described from the witness box was inconsistent and the only account Malik Mothen gave to the police was implausible.

He also pointed to the unfortunate history of the Mothens, who were present at, or connected in some way to, at least four other violent gang-related incidents, including shootings.

The case continues Monday with closing statements from the defence attorneys.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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