Critical text message evidence prosecutors used to convict Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm was apparently created six weeks before the victim’s alleged death based on metadata, one attorney revealed during the Appeal Court on Monday.
The discrepancy in relation to the time one of the damning text messages reportedly left the judges hearing his appeal puzzled.
The text message in question is one reportedly taken from one of Vybz Kartel’s mobile phones, in which the artist allegedly described finely chopping up the victim.
Bianca Samuels, one of the attorneys representing Shawn Campbell, told the court that the phone’s metadata showed that the text message was created on July 6, 2011, six weeks before prosecutors claim Williams was killed. The lawyer was making her submissions in the appeal filed by the two entertainers against their conviction and prison sentence.
“So what that reveals, obviously, is that there was some tampering and some usage of the phone to create a text message somehow that came before, that was prophetic in some way as to the death or alleged death of Clive Williams,” she insisted.
The attorney also charged that the evidence revealed that the integrity of the phone was compromised.
She noted that there was evidence that the mobile phones taken from Kartel were used while the instruments were in the custody of the police.
Ms. Samuels argued that three calls were made from the phone while it was in the custody of the police. However, the forensic expert who testified at the trial said he did not authorise anyone to use the phone.
“This one has left me puzzled,” said Samuels, who along with Isat Buchanan and Daynia Allen, represent Shawn Storm.
“It is for that reason that I have submitted to the court that the exhibit, the cellphone, which included a number of damaging pieces of evidence relied on by the crown, should not have been given to the jury for their consideration, based on the law,” she added.
The panel of three judges hearing the appeal appeared surprised by the assertion.
“Our silence was sharing in your puzzlement,” said president of the Court of Appeal Justice Dennis Morrison, who along with justices Patrick Brooks and Frank Williams, are hearing the case.
Samuels said this raises “more than a reasonable doubt” about the integrity of the evidence, which should not have been put to the jury.
In the meantime, Attorney-At-Law Bert Samuels, who is leading the main submissions, told the appellate judges that there was prosecutorial misconduct by Director Of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn during the trial.
The lawyer accused the DPP of aiding and abetting an attempt to pervert the course of justice because she instructed the judge to keep the juror despite knowing of his indiscretion.
He said based on disclosures made during the trial, the DPP had acknowledged that the jury was tainted and no longer independent.
The attorney said that the advice that Llewellyn gave to the trial judge to continue the trial despite the attempted bribery of one of the jurors, amounted to professional misconduct.
The juror was then charged separately for perverting the course of justice after he sat on the trial. His case is ongoing in the Half Way Tree Parish Court.
The appeal continues on Tuesday (July 17).
The appeal is being heard by the President of the Court of Appeal Dennis Morrison, Justice Patrick Brooks and Justice Frank Williams.
Vybz Kartel, Shawn Storm, Kahira Jones and Andre St John were convicted in March 2014 of the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams are seeking to have their life sentences overturned.