Jul 23, 2009 News
The trial of Dorsette Mc Cammon, who is indicted for the murder of policeman, Micah Cort, finally commenced at the Berbice Assizes on Monday.
The start of the trial was delayed on Thursday last, when one of the jurors informed the Registrar that she was a relative of the mother of the accused.
In light of this, attorney-at-law Michael Baird, who was holding for Defence Counsel Mursalene Bacchus, was granted an adjournment.
On Monday, the juror was replaced and State Prosecutor Fabayo Azore proceeded with her opening address.
She pointed out that the case surrounds an unspeakable crime committed on an officer of the Guyana Police Force, who was fatally shot at Esplanade Ground in New Amsterdam, a short distance from the Berbice High Court building.
Azore told the court that a night that was supposed to be one of merriment with the accompaniment of enjoyable Soca sounds was changed to the pulsating sounds of gunshots on February 11, 2007, when policeman Micah Cort was killed.
The Prosecutor told Justice Winston Patterson, who is presiding over the matter, and a mixed jury, that during the semi-finals of the Carib Soca Monarch Competition, about 01:30 hours, persons were seen scattering from the bar area.
A scuffle ensued between Mc Cammon and the policeman and when they were separated, the accused was seen pointing a gun at the on-duty policeman.
Four shots rang out and the accused was seen running away, the state prosecutor said.
Azore recalled that a licenced firearm holder discharged shots and Mc Cammon fell, with a gun next to him.
Both wounded men were taken to New Amsterdam Hospital where they received treatment, but Cort succumbed.
The Prosecutor said that a post mortem report revealed that Cort died from respiratory failure, due to a fractured spine caused by gunshot injuries.
The prosecution called its first witness, Errol Azar, a licenced firearm holder, who recalled attending the semifinals of the Carib Soca Monarch Competition when he saw a scuffle between murder accused Dorsette Mc Cammon and the now deceased policeman.
He said he fired shots at the foot of the accused as he ran towards him after the man allegedly shot the cop.
In his evidence in chief, Azar said that on the day in question, he went to the show with some friends, and was at the Demerara Distilleries Limited (DDL) booth, where several persons were milling around.
The witness, a businessman, recalled that about 01:30hrs, he noticed that several persons were slowly moving away from the area.
He said that he observed two persons engaged in a scuffle in front of the Carib bar.
“I recognized Police Officer (Micah) Cort, whom I had known for five years, from his appearance and his clothes. I had seen him two or three times earlier that night. He was alone. I did not recognize the other person at that time. The fight lasted for about a minute,” Azar told the court.
He recalled that he subsequently heard a gunshot.
He added that the sound came from the vicinity of the Carib bar.
The witness said that he drew his 9mm pistol while continuing to observe what was happening around the Carib bar.
According to Azar, when the fighting parties were parted, it was then that he recognized the other person, as being the accused, whom he had known around the township for two years prior to the incident.
He said the accused had what appeared to be a gun in his hand.
Azar related that the suspected firearm, was pointed towards Cort, after which three gunshots were fired before the policeman fell, and the accused ran toward him.
Azar said that he fired a warning shot and shouted ‘stop’ but the accused continued running towards him, with his hand raised and containing what appeared to be a gun.
“I fired one shot into the direction of his foot. The accused continued running towards me, still lifting his gun.”
The witness said that he discharged two more rounds at the alleged shooter’s legs, causing him to fall.
Azar said that he immediately holstered his weapon and went in search of an Inspector of police whom he had seen earlier, in the vicinity of the DDL booth.
He informed him of what took place and asked him to secure the weapon which the accused had.
Cross-examined by Defence Counsel Mursaline Bacchus, Azar said that he has been a licenced firearm holder since 1993 and had done target practice at the Eve Leary range for about 10 years.
He said that he also did target practice on his own, once per year, since he was not satisfied with his proficiency and accuracy.
With reference to evidence given in the Magistrate’s Court, which records that he had some degree of proficiency, the witness, who had earlier seemed not to understand the meaning of the word, ‘proficiency’, confessed later that he did have some knowledge of the use of the gun.
Azar stated that when he discharged a round the accused was facing him, and if any bullet had hit the accused, it would have hit the front of his body.
He told Bacchus that two statements were given to the police, the first of which was given on the afternoon of February 11, 2007 at Central Police Station, New Amsterdam, and the other, two months later at his home.
The witness said the purpose of the second statement, which was taken by Inspector Paul, was to clarify the distance and lighting.
The trial continued yesterday with further cross-examination of the prosecution’s main witness.
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