Long hours of summation by Presiding Judge, Justice Betram Morrison got underway yesterday in the trial of Michael McLean who is before the courts on six counts of murder.
McLean is being tried for the murder of four children and two women in St. Thomas in 2006. The month-long trial, which started on January 29, is expected to end today.
In yesterday’s summation, Justice Morrison indicated a number of key factors which he told the seven-member jury to consider keenly. Sex, Lies and Obeah are the three elements on which Justice Morrison told the jurors, the Prosecution has built its case. For the Defence, it’s a drug and gun deal gone bad, that’s being blamed for the victims’ murders.
Justice Morrison has been combing through the testimony of all the witnesses over the past day and a half. He’s been discussing the factors he considers vital to the case that will help the jurors come to a verdict.
Particularly, the evidence of witness number two- McLean’s babysitter, whose testimony Justice Morrison says the jurors must keenly consider. He told them they may need to question why McLean went home in a hurry to pick up several knives, a shovel and a pitchfork, at 4 o’clock on the afternoon of February 25, 2006. McLean claims he needed the tools to clean the drain at his restaurant in Morant Bay because it was raining.
However, both witnesses number two and three testified that it didn’t rain that day. Witness number three, McLean’s Chef, Junior, claims he was the last person to see McLean with all the victims.
He testified that McLean was loud and aggressive when he came to close the restaurant Saturday night, and drop him as well as two of the victims – Terryann and her daughter Jihad – home. But Judge Morrison told the jurors to consider that McLean dropped off Junior first, and he never actually saw McLean stop at Terryann’s house down the road.
Rather, Junior testified that he saw McLean drive past Terryann’s house. The defence claims that McLean did indeed turn into Terryann’s lane, but was blocked by two cars with gunmen.
The Judge also told the jury to consider two grocery bags that Terryann had. He questioned whether these were the same bags witness number four – McLean’s ex-fiance – saw when he took her to St. Mary before dawn on Sunday morning. She testified that the time, about 4 or 4:30 am, was unusual; another factor the Judge told the jury to consider.
She had also testified that the usually very neat McLean, had mud on his elbows, dirty clothes, unkempt hair, muddy sneakers and arrived in a dirty vehicle.
Additionally, she says he told her to tell her father that he was with her at the house all night. Justice Morrison told the jurors they should consider if McLean was seeking to establish an alibi.