Although his Attorney-at-Law is contending that there was a scar on his client’s face, Former Chief Magistrate (ag) Melissa Robertson, testified that she saw no marks of violence on murder accused Jermaine Savory when he appeared before her in 2008.
Robertson, who is now a Commissioner of Title, presiding at the Land Court in New Amsterdam Berbice, was called to testify last week when the trial of Savory continued before Justice James Bovell-Drakes at the High Court in Georgetown.
Savory is accused of the November 6, 2008 murder of Melissa Payne who was robbed before being shot dead at Agricola, East Bank Demerara. He has pleaded not guilty to the capital offence.
Attorneys-at-Law Mandel Moore and Orinthia Schmidt are representing the state.
Attorney-at-Law Maxwell McKay is representing the murder accused.
During her testimony, Robertson recalled that Savory was arraigned before her on November 7, 2008 in Court One of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Robertson told the court that a record was made of the accused being present for court. She added that she collected his bio-data and read him a charge for murder—a non bailable offense.
According to the Land Court Judge, no complaints were made to her by Savory or anyone about him being assaulted by police ranks. The Land Court Judge also recalled that Savory had no legal representation at his arraignment before her. Nevertheless, Robertson pointed out that if Savory or anyone on his behalf had complained to her of him being assaulted, a record of that complaint would have been made on the case docket. She also said that if such were the case, an order would have been made for the police to escort Savory to see a medical practitioner.
According to the Commissioner of Title, sometime later Savory’s matter was transferred to Court Three, which was presided over then by Magistrate Sueanna Lovell, who is now the Registrar at the Supreme Court of Judicature.
During cross examination by Attorney McKay, Robertson recounted that the Magistrate’s podium was about 18 feet from the prisoner’s dock in which the accused was sitting. She said there is a possibility that a one inch scar on Savory’s face would have been visible but would depend on the lighting in the courtroom.
According to Robertson, there is no way possible that she would have told police ranks to escort Savory out of the courtroom because of the bloodied state of his clothing.
Earlier on in the trial, Senior Government Pathologist, Dr. Nehaul Singh, who conducted a postmortem examination on the remains Payne testified that a bullet was lodged in her body.
Dr. Singh gave the cause of death as perforation of the lung and aorta due to a gunshot wound.
Dr. Singh recalled conducting the post mortem examination on the remains of Payne on November 10, 2008. He said that all the clothing Payne was wearing at the time had bloodstains.
Upon examining the corpse, Dr. Singh recounted that there was a gunshot wound to the chest about six centimeters from her armpit. The Pathologist estimated that the bullet was fired from about three to five feet from where Payne was standing. He added that he removed a bullet that was lodged in the woman’s body and handed it over to the police.
Payne, 27, formerly of Den Amstel, West Bank Demerara was killed after she attempted to put up a fight with gunmen who carried out a brazen attack on her and a male friend at Agricola, East Bank Demerara. The gunmen escaped with some $100,000 cash and a quantity of jewellery that were contained in the woman’s handbag.
Based on reports, Payne and her male friend, David Fraser, were in a Canter truck and upon approaching Agricola the truck encountered some mechanical problems.
They were heading to Georgetown to conduct business.
Fraser stopped the truck to attend to the problems while Payne remained inside.
But after a few minutes, Payne came out of the vehicle and stood watching her friend while he fixed the problem. A gunman approached Fraser from behind demanding valuables and snatched away his gold chain while Payne tried to escape but was cornered by another bandit who was acting as the lookout.
Upon seeing Payne’s handbag, the bandits intensified their demands.
Payne, who was hesitant at first, eventually complied with the bandits demands.
But as she was handing over the bag, the bag’s strap got entangled causing the bandits to believe that she was reluctant. Payne, who was shot in the area under the armpit, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
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