Presiding Judge Justice Bertram Morrison ruled yesterday that the Defence has a case to answer to in the Michael McLean murder trial.
The ruling follows a no-case submission filed by the defence in the Home Circuit Court in downtown, Kingston by McLean’s attorney, Carlton Collman.
Justice Morrison made his ruling after submissions were made by both the defence and the Crown being led by Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Paula Llewellyn.
The defence started its case yesterday afternoon. Its first witness is the man accused of killing the six people. McLean testified that he told the police the six victims would have been killed approximately two weeks before they were murdered.
McLean, who took the witness box at two in the afternoon, gave his version of the events in even more details than his previous caution statement that was read into evidence last week.
McLean told the court a drug deal gone bad is responsible for the deaths of the six people in February 2006. He testified that on February 24 of the year in question, he went to Rosemount in St. Mary with his girlfriend Terryann Mohammed and Patrice McCool. The murder accused said he was feeling unwell and was taken to a bush doctor in the parish.
McLean gave evidence that there was a lot of US dollars and cocaine in his grey Range Rover. He then told the court that while in St. Mary his girlfriend told him that they had to stash the drugs before returning to St. Thomas.
Fast forward to the night of February 25, McLean testified that Patrice McCool, Ms. Mohammed’s niece, left that evening with her children and did not return. He said while taking Ms. Mohammad home that night they were blocked by two vehicles.
McLean told the court the men were asking about drugs and guns Ms. Mohammed’s cousin had allegedly stolen from them. He testified that Ms. Mohammed offered to pay money for what was stolen.
However, McLean said, the men refused the offer and continued asking about Ms. Mohammed’s cousin. McLean then told the court his girlfriend eventually told them her cousin was with her niece’s husband who, he claimed, also handled drugs.
The accused said the men dragged Ms. Mohammed by the hair and took her with them.
McLean claimed he was left with Ms. Mohammed’s child Jihad McCool and three other guys. He said they had him there with the child on the narrow lane for approximately 45-minutes.
The accused then said a phone rang. He testified that the person on the line asked him, “What did you stash, you and Teeni yesterday?”
McLean told the court he knew exactly what the person on the other end was asking about.
The guys he said forced him to drive to the spot in Rosemount, St. Mary where he pointed to where the cocaine was hidden. He said the men took the crying baby but they didn’t return with her.
The men, he said, commanded him to drive to a gas station where they told him to leave. McLean said he was ‘traumatised.’ Meanwhile, the accused said on February 26, he got a call from an Inspector Hall who thought he was dead.
McLean said he told the Inspector what happened could have been avoided because he gave the police the information two weeks before it happened. He said the police Inspector’s response was he ‘didn’t know it was that serious’.