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Middleton case convict appears as defence witness in murder trial

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Reggae lyrics detailing gun vengeance and bullets to the head were described before a jury in the ongoing trial of murder accused Derek Spalding, as Westgate inmate Kirk Mundy took the stand.

Prosecutors have alleged that Mr Spalding penned lyrics describing the August 2007 murder of footballer Shaki Crockwell, in documents police found in his home in September of that year.

Prosecutor Carrington Mahoney told Mr Spalding: “What a coincidence that, exactly two weeks to the day after Shaki was shot and killed, you had these lyrics as part of what you’ve described as sacred documents in your possession?”

“That’s your theory,” the accused replied.

However, Mr Mundy subsequently told the court that he himself had written the songs about ten years ago.

Asked what the lyrics were about, he said: “My outlook on the life I grew up in and my era.” Songs with names like ‘Brand New Glock’, Mr Mundy said, were “not at all” related to anything shared with him by Mr Spalding when they both were imprisoned in Westgate, or to Mr Crockwell’s death.

Mr Mahoney attacked Mr Mundy’s credibility as a witness with reference to the 1996 murder of Rebecca Middleton. Mr Mundy was convicted as an accessory to that killing, while his companion, Justis Smith, was charged with premeditated murder.

Mr Mahoney said: “You told prosection that you had consensual sex with her, and that after you left it was Justis Smith that had forced sex with her. Isn’t that what you said to the prosecution, and they cut a deal with you in order for you to give evidence against Justis Smith? And after the deal was cut, the DNA evidence came back to show that you were the only one to have sex with her?”

Mr Mundy, the prosecutor said, was someone who knew how to “play the system”.

“Forensic evidence contradicted the story that you gave,” Mr Mahoney added. “And now you are just here lying about your friend.”

The witness disagreed, saying: “He (Spalding) has no rhythm. For me to lie for him about lyrics, that’s far-fetched.”

The questions were allowed over the objections of defence lawyer Mark Pettingill.

The court also heard that Mr Mundy had been put in segregation at the Prison Farm for being caught with a cell phone.

Asked who he had been calling with it, the witness replied: “No comment.”

Mr Spalding, meanwhile, has given evidence that he was at home at Friswells Hill on the night Mr Crockwell was gunned down along the Railway Trail in Devonshire. He told the court that he only learned of the murder the next day.

However, he admitted that the murder victim made two calls to his phone two nights before the murder calls he had not answered.

Clinical psychologist Jeremy Lodge also told the jury that he saw Mr Spalding regularly up to and following his release from prison in 2007, and sat on the five-person Parole Board during that time. Mr Spalding, he said, had been referred to him for social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia.

“I thought he would be a model parolee,” Dr Lodge said, adding: “I continue to feel that.”

He then said: “If he were convicted, my view would change.”

Asked if he could gave an assessment of Mr Spalding’s psyche at the time of Mr Crockwell’s murder, Dr Lodge said: “Only in general terms.”

The court also heard from counsellor Ernest Peet Jt, who said Mr Spalding had been one of his parole cases.

He told the court that Mr Spalding had described life in 1994 to 1997, before his imprisonment for armed robbery, as “heavily involved in the sale and distribution of drugs and firearms”, and had made as much as “$20,000 a week, and $35,000 to $40,000 during holiday periods”.

Upon his release, Dr Peet said, Mr Spalding had subsequently found employment, attended all meetings with parole officers, and had not tested positive for drug use.

The case continues.

Back in court: Kirk Mundy, who was convicted of being an accessory to the 1996 killing of Rebecca Middleton, was escorted into Supreme Court One yesterday to testify as a defence witness in the Derek Spalding murder trial.
Back in court: Kirk Mundy, who was convicted of being an accessory to the 1996 killing of Rebecca Middleton, was escorted into Supreme Court One yesterday to testify as a defence witness in the Derek Spalding murder trial.
Derek Spalding is on trial accused of murdering Shaki Crockwell.
Back in court: Kirk Mundy, who was convicted of being an accessory to the 1996 killing of Rebecca Middleton, was escorted into Supreme Court One yesterday to testify as a defence witness in the Derek Spalding murder trial.
Derek Spalding is on trial accused of murdering Shaki Crockwell.
Derek Spalding is on trial accused of murdering Shaki Crockwell.

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Published February 08, 2012 at 8:52 am (Updated February 08, 2012 at 8:52 am)

Middleton case convict appears as defence witness in murder trial

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