Parkside veteran details gang’s murder plan
An ex-gangster told the Supreme Court yesterday he heard the Parkside gang plan the murder of a rival on the day a man was shot dead.
The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he heard Prince Edness, identified in court as a Parkside “ringleader”, vow the gang would “shoot the first 42 guy they see” at Hamilton Parish Workman’s Club.
Perry Puckerin was shot dead at point blank range that night — January 3, 2010 — in the doorway of the club.
The court heard that the eastern parishes club was said to be a hangout for the 42 gang.
The witness added Mr Edness ordered him to collect a gun from a bar in Hamilton — and said the murder accused, Jeremiah Dill, later bragged about the shooting during a “celebration” of the murder.
Kamal Worrell, for the defence, accused the witness of fabricating a story to save his own skin. But the witness maintained he first informed police because he “wanted a way out”.
He told Nicole Smith, prosecution counsel: “I’m not proud of it. I came up in the street, in gangs and drugs and jail my entire life, and I just wanted to change.”
He said he had only just been released from prison and had grown “sick of the lifestyle”.
But the witness said he had also “hated” Mr Edness, nicknamed “Fifty”. He said: “I thought he was really evil.”
The court heard earlier this week that the victim had been a member of 42, a gang embroiled in a “war” with Parkside.
The witness said he had been a friend of Mr Dill, known as “Rocks”, and often visited his house at Seagull Lane in Spanish Point, Pembroke.
On the day of the murder, he said he visited around 12.30pm, and that Mr Edness, who he had met after his release from jail, was also there. The witness added Mr Dill was also a Parkside member.
He said: “We were all part of that street life, the gang life, Parkside.”
The witness said: “I witnessed Prince orchestrating the murder”. He added Mr Edness talked about “escape routes” and hiding afterwards in “the guy Tamasgan’s shed”.
The witness said a man known as Blood, whom he did not know, was to be the shooter.
He added: “That was it; make sure they got somebody from 42”.
He told the court Mr Edness had sent him to Place’s Place bar on Dundonald Street in Hamilton “between a year and six months” before the killing to pick up a gun.
The witness said he collected “a silver gun with a push-up clip, a safety, very heavy” and took it to Mr Dill’s house to hand it over to Mr Edness. He added that he visited Mr Dill’s house a few days after the murder and found him “excited and hyper”.
The witness said: “It was like a kind of celebration because they got a guy from the other side.”
He added Mr Dill was “laughing and joking” and demonstrated how he had shot Mr Puckerin, but was worried police would search Tamasgan’s house.
The witness said he was in police custody on January 21, 2010 to be questioned on “a minor matter” and decided to “get out of Bermuda and start a new life”. He added he gave a statement to a woman officer and a Detective Redfern, but refused to sign it “because nobody said they was going to help me — my mind was all over the place”.
The witness said police contacted him years later when he lived and worked in England.
“I was angry — I didn’t want no part of this. I told them to leave me alone and hung up.”
He explained he was “frustrated having to face stuff from my past — I did stuff that’s not nice, and I tried to make a new start, and this was back in my face”.
He admitted he hit a “breaking point” and gave a statement when police contacted him on his birthday in June 2016.
He said he spoke to police again in July 2017. The witness said Mr Dill “amazingly” contacted him “immediately” after the first police interview, first on Facebook messenger and later on WhatsApp. The two communicated by phone, video and text. Mr Dill, who was living in London, told the witness police wanted to extradite him to Bermuda. He showed the witness a copy of his statement and asked him to retract it.
The extradition was later approved and Mr Dill’s messages stopped after the witness told him his phone was tapped.
The exchange of messages, which he handed over to police, were produced in the court yesterday. The witness admitted under cross-examination that he was under a suspended sentence when he was caught shoplifting and feared a return to jail.
Mr Worrell highlighted contradictions in his evidence on when he had acquired the gun.
The court heard it had been six months before the shooting, but the witness had told police it had been weeks earlier.
Mr Worrell suggested the witness had made up his story to avoid going back to jail, adding: “You knew exactly how to make it believable.”
But the witness insisted his evidence was believable because it was the truth, adding: “The truth does it.”
The trial continues.
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