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Witness tells court accused asked about DNA evidence collection

Murder-accused Antonio Myers discussed how clothing might be disposed of and asked questions about DNA evidence, a witness told Supreme Court.

Andrew Laws said he saw Mr Myers and a friend named “Juggler Jason” in Middletown early on the morning of December 5, 2009, following the murder of Kumi Harford on St Monica's Road.

Prosecutors allege Mr Harford is a 42nd gang member who was shot by Mr Myers, an alleged member of the rival Middletown gang. Mr Laws said he was living in a tent on Parsons Road, Pembroke, at the time of the shooting and heard the gunshots ring out. “I've been shot before, so I know when there's shots,” he explained.

He said he walked to Middletown where he saw “a couple of brothers”, Mr Myers and “Juggler Jason”, by a blue house.

The same house has been identified by earlier witnesses in the trial as the site of a bonfire where prosecutors allege Mr Myers tried to burn clothes he was wearing at the time of the shooting.

Mr Laws told the court he's known Mr Myers since the accused man attended Victor Scott Primary School and CedarBridge Academy with his son, Jahkiel Samuels.

He said he would see Mr Myers five to six times per week in the Middletown area. Mr Laws told the court he heard Juggler Jason tell Mr Myers he should have brought “the f*****g clothes” to him, Mr Laws.

Mr Laws said he did not know what these clothes were, but assumed the suggestion was made because the men wanted to get rid of them.

“When I would have got them, nobody would have found them,” he told the jury.

The trial has heard in other evidence that clothing items were found by the police after they discovered the bonfire in Middletown and put it out. These were linked to Mr Myers by DNA evidence.

Mr Laws said he noticed a burnt patch at the back of the blue house as he left after 7am.

He said he spent three or four hours with Mr Myers on another date, some time after the shooting and before Christmas 2009, when he helped him move some furniture.

He said Mr Myers asked him “how strong DNA evidence is”. He decided Mr Myers “maybe didn't know about DNA”.

Asked to describe the accused man, Mr Laws said he is “not too bright” and nicknamed Stone because “he was cold-like. He didn't care”.

Mr Laws' son Jahkiel Samuels was described by another witness, police gang expert Sergeant Alexander Rollin, as “very high ranking in the Parkside gang. I would refer to him as a shot-caller”.

Sgt Rollin explained that Parkside, like their allies Middletown, are rivals of 42nd.

Mr Laws, who admits he sometimes uses drugs, told the jury he grew up on St Monica's Road and described himself as “an original 42 man”.

He said he decided to tell the police what he knew about the murder case as: “All this killing and shooting and madness, I've had enough of that.

“I think it was a ruthless slaughter. A very cowardly act. Kumi was a good guy.”

He explained he is related to the murder victim through godmothers. Mr Myers denies murder and using a firearm and the case continues.

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Published March 18, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 18, 2011 at 10:31 am)

Witness tells court accused asked about DNA evidence collection

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