Saltus shot paralysed man to earn stripes’
A man accused of murder shot a paralysed man dead to earn his “stripes” in a West End gang, Supreme Court heard yesterday.
However, Richard Horseman, lawyer for defendant Travone Saltus, said the Crown’s entire case was built on the evidence of Troy Harris.
Mr Horseman alleged that Mr Harris was an unreliable witness who admitted on the stand he once intended to kill gangland figure Prince Edness.
“This is what the entire case is built on. The word of a thief, a criminal, a man who assaults woman like it’s going out of style and can brag about going to kill someone and not have to worry,” said Mr Horseman.
The court heard Lorenzo Stovell, who was wheelchair-bound after an earlier shooting, was shot as he sat in a minibus parked near Woody’s bar in Sandys in September 2012.
Mr Saltus denied the offence.
He told the court he had gone to Woody’s that evening but left before the shooting because he felt ill.
The jury heard Mr Saltus was earlier tried and convicted of the offence, but the Court of Appeal ordered the case back to the Supreme Court for a retrial.
The prosecution and defence made their closing statements in the retrial yesterday.
Carrington Mahoney, for the Crown, said Mr Saltus was proud to be a member of the MOB gang and committed the murder to advance up its ranks.
He said: “Trying to get stripes to go up in the gang — that’s why he killed Lorenzo Stovell, a cripple who couldn’t help himself.”
Mr Mahoney said Mr Saltus confessed to Mr Harris years after the murder to explain how he had earned the confidence of the gang.
Mr Harris testified that Mr Saltus said he shot Mr Stovell seven times through the window and was rushed from the scene on the back of another man’s motorcycle.
Mr Mahoney said: “The accused was telling him about what he needed to do. In doing so, he revealed how he had got his stripes.”
He said Mr Saltus also provided details about faults with the firearm, including that it needed a tape or something wedged in the handle to properly function.
The prosecutor added that the firearm, when recovered, did have faults and that the information had not been published in The Royal Gazette as other details of the crime had.
Mr Mahoney said: “This is what the accused told him. Mr Harris didn’t make it up.”
He added that Mr Harris had a criminal history but pointed out he had nothing to gain from his testimony other than a clean conscience.
Mr Mahoney said: “He asked for nothing. He gets nothing for giving evidence. The only thing he gets is the people on the street cut him off.”
He added that, instead of judging the evidence based on Mr Harris’s background, the jury should consider how it matched up with other evidence heard by the court.
Mr Mahoney told the jury that particles associated with gunshot residue were found on the clothing of the man Mr Harris said drove Mr Saltus from the scene.
He said Mr Harris had testified Mr Saltus had worn a black hoodie and the driver of the bus said the gunman was wearing black.
Mr Mahoney pointed at Mr Saltus and said: “That man is the man who killed Lorenzo Stovell six years ago and finally it has caught up with him.”
Mr Horseman said: “This case is frightening because there is no forensic evidence tying Mr Saltus to the murder. Nothing.
“There are no eyewitnesses putting him near that bus.”
Mr Horseman said investigators found the handprint of another man, Zakai Cann, on the window of the bus and the bus driver only saw one person outside his vehicle.
He said: “This was a fresh print and when we look at it, we know that Mr Stovell was sitting at the window there.
“We know there was one person who came to the bus. One person. And his handprint was right there.” Mr Horseman said that Mr Cann was seen in a white shirt on the night of the shooting, but that the bus driver could have been mistaken about the gunman’s clothing in the darkness.
He added: “You could probably watch two episodes of CSI and determine who the shooter was and it wasn’t my client.”
Mr Horseman suggested that Mr Harris had lied to protect Mr Cann and that he might have received some details about the shooting from him or others.
He said the gun linked to the shooting was “fully functional”, despite claims by Mr Harris that the magazine would fall out if not wedged or taped in place.
Mr Horseman also detailed Mr Harris’s convictions, and said that, while under oath, he admitted that he had on one occasion armed himself with the intention of killing Mr Edness.
He said: “He testified with the Bible in his hand he had a semiautomatic weapon and went to kill Prince Edness.
Mr Horseman asked: “Who in their right mind, unless they have no fear of prosecution, would say under oath that they had a gun and were ready to roll?”
The trial continues.
• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.
BA offers 25% fare discount in seat sale
Senate passes health insurance Bill
Missing Bermudian woman in Canada found
Carpenter proves doubters wrong
Three deny fighting charges
Elizabeth Kitson (1918-2019)
SFIR critical of immigration reform delays
Bermuda Day warning from Police
Take Our Poll