Lawyer says case against murder accused is ‘lies, lies, and lies’
A defence lawyer urged a jury to clear the name of murder-accused Derek Spalding, dismissing the case against him as “lies, lies and lies, culminating in more lies”.
Prosecutors allege that Mr Spalding, 36, shot 25-year-old footballer Shaki Crockwell dead over an unpaid drug debt. They say he lured him to the Railway Trail, on Loyal Hill, Devonshire on the night of August 24, 2007, then shot him in the back of the head.
Mr Crockwell was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time.
However, defence lawyer Mark Pettingill urged the Supreme Court jury yesterday to clear Mr Spalding’s name, insisting that the accused man has turned his life around after a youth filled with crime.
“Between lies and misinterpretation and mistakes, you build a nightmare for a man who’s trying to better himself,” he said.
Testifying for the prosecution, convicted bank robber Randy Lightbourne said he knew Mr Crockwell and Mr Spalding from prison.
He told the jury Mr Crockwell sold drugs for the defendant when he was released from prison but did not pay him the money, making Mr Spalding feel angry and cheated.
According to Mr Lightbourne, he tried to mediate between the two men, but Mr Spalding eventually carried out his earlier threats to kill Mr Crockwell. Mr Lightbourne said he confessed the killing to him the morning after he did it.
Mr Lightbourne told the jury he reported his information on the murder to the police in September 2010 after he had been shot himself and thought he was on his deathbed.
“I just wanted it off my conscience,” he explained.
Mr Spalding’s father also told the jury his son had confessed to the Crockwell murder and asked him to provide an alibi.
The father cannot be named due to a reporting restriction imposed by the judge at the request of the prosecution.
Mr Spalding told the jury earlier this week that he had never had a relationship with his father, who hates him because he thinks he is gay. He denied ever confessing the crime to him.
Mr Pettingill also cast scorn on the father as a witness, telling the jury on Wednesday: “He didn’t even know his children’s birthdays. Frankly, I’m not even sure he knows how many children he’s got.”
Yesterday, he summed up the Crown’s case, and urged the jury to dismiss it.
“You have to look at the logic of it and combine it all together and as I said to you at the start of this case, if you still have doubts with you, doubts which support him, you cannot let those go,” he said, suggesting the real killer of Mr Crockwell is still loose on the streets.
Mr Spalding has denied charges of premeditated murder and using a firearm to commit that crime throughout his trial, which began on January 24. Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves began directing the jury on the law and summing up the evidence after Mr Pettingill finished his closing speech yesterday.
A verdict is anticipated today.