Accused man’s burned clothes had gunshot residue, expert tells jury
Gunshot residue was found on clothing belonging to a man accused of murder, a jury heard.
Items including a pair of partially-burned jeans and a sock were recovered from a bonfire extinguished by police investigating the shooting of Kumi Harford.
According to prosecutors, the man accused of the murder, Antonio Myers, lit the blaze to get rid of evidence linking him to the crime.
Witnesses have told Mr Myers' Supreme Court trial they saw him at the scene of the fire in Middletown on the night of the St Monica's Road shooting.
Mr Myers' defence lawyer Jerome Lynch QC told the jury yesterday there was no dispute that the clothes belonged to the accused man.
He said after evidence from Florida-based DNA expert Candy Zuleger that Mr Myers' DNA was found on the items: “They're his clothes, so it's not surprising his DNA is on it.”
However, he quizzed Ms Zuleger over whether the clothes may have been worn by someone else, as she'd said only some of the DNA she found matched Mr Myers.
She described the accused man as the “major donor” of the DNA but was unable to say who the minor donor was.
She agreed with Mr Lynch it was possible the items could have been borrowed and worn by someone else, leading to their DNA being on them.
The trial also heard from another expert, Alfred [AJ] Schwoeble, who specialises in examining gun shot residue. The residue, which is known as GSR, is emitted when a gun is fired and can land on people and items nearby, including clothing.
Mr Schwoeble, who is based in Pennsylvania, said he found one particle of GSR that was swabbed from the outside back of the jeans and one from the sock.
He is due to be cross-examined on his evidence by Mr Lynch today.
Mr Harford, 30, was shot multiple times while sitting in the driver's seat of his car on St Monica's Road, Pembroke, around 5am on December 5, 2009.
He suffered bullet wounds to his head, chest, right shoulder and right hand.
Prosecutors say the victim was a member of the 42 gang which inhabits the St Monica's area and was attacked by more than one person, using two guns. They say Mr Myers, 25, is a member of the rival Middletown gang.
The Crown also called another expert witness yesterday, who used lasers and rods to figure out how the murder unfolded.
Jan Johnson was called in from Florida to reconstruct the scene of the crime. She told the jury how she stuck rods in the numerous bullet holes in Mr Harford's car to find out where his assailants may have stood.
She then waited until nightfall and used lasers to depict the paths of the bullets. She took pictures of her reconstruction work, which she shared with the jury yesterday.
Ms Johnson said two of Mr Harford's car windows were shot out; the rear driver's side window and the front passenger's side window.
“Based upon the rods placed in the defects in the vehicle there's at least three possible positions for the shooter or shooters to be in,” she explained.
She showed a diagram depicting gunmen firing from three different positions; in front of the car on the passenger's side, in front of the car on the driver's side and to the rear of the car on the driver's side.
She said the victim's car was moving during the attack, which began on St Monica's Road and ended when the car crashed as Mr Harford tried to escape down Mission Lane.
Ms Johnson said it was possible one of the shooters was running along the inside of a church wall and shooting over it into the car from an angle above the vehicle as it moved along the road. A total of 13 bullets and fragments were recovered from the car.
Ms Johnson said her reconstruction indicated that a bullet which entered through the driver's window and ended up in the seat back was the one that most likely struck Mr Harford in the head.
That was the only 9mm bullet found at the scene, according to her, and the rest were fired from a .40 calibre firearm.
The trial heard evidence from US gun expert Dennis McGuire on Monday that the .40 calibre firearm used in the Harford shooting was the same weapon used to murder Kenwandee “Wheels” Robinson on St Monica's Road on May 22, 2009.
The trial heard last week from local gang expert Sgt Alexander Rollin that he believes Mr Robinson was a 42 member who was killed by the Parkside gang, which is allied with the Middletown gang.
Both Parkside and Middletown have been locked in deadly rivalry with the 42 gang, explained Sgt Rollin.
Mr Myers denies murder and using a firearm and the case continues.