Teen ‘did not raise a hand’ to accused
A teenage victim did not raise a hand to the woman accused of fatally striking him with a baseball bat, a witness told a Supreme Court jury yesterday.
Kiahna Trott-Edwards, 32, has been charged with inflicting fatal blows on Shijuan Mungal, 16, fracturing his skull, after a confrontation on a bus in which she rebuked him for bad language.
Mr Mungal walked away from the attack but died three days later from the injuries he suffered.
As the trial continued yesterday, Justin Trott-Ray, 15, described watching the accused strike Mr Mungal three times with a bat outside of her home on September 8.
Mr Trott-Ray told the court that after school, he had caught a bus to Hamilton, bought some food, and then caught the bus with the intention of going home.
He said that he sat at the back of the bus with several friends he knew from the neighbourhood, including Mr Mungal.
Ms Trott-Edwards then got on the bus with her daughter, sitting near the back. He told the court the defendant spoke warmly to him and the other boys, noting that she knew several of them from the neighbourhood and he would go to her home almost every day before school.
During the ride, the witness said that one of the boys angered Mr Mungal, who began to curse loudly.
Ms Trott-Edwards, who the witness called “Aunt Kay”, turned and told him to stop cursing.
“I think it was to Shijuan,” Mr Trott-Ray said. “Shijuan said, ‘Turn around because it's not just me cursing'. They were going back and forth.”
He said he could not recall how the argument ended, but remembered that Ms Trott-Edwards got off the bus with her daughter at the stop before Ord Road, while he and five other boys got off at the next stop.
Mr Trott-Ray said he and three of the other boys had decided to go to the home of one of their uncles, while Mr Mungal and his friend, Ja-Ja DeSilva, went to Mr DeSilva's father's apartment in the same complex to collect money.
As they walked on to Cherry Hill, Mr Trott-Ray noticed that Ms Trott-Edwards and her daughter were ahead of them. He said he saw her walk her daughter to her door and then sat on a wall close by.
As the boys neared her home, Mr Trott-Ray said the accused told Mr Mungal something like: “You have the nerve to come in my yard after you have been disrespectful on the bus?”
He said Mr Mungal appeared angry about what had happened on the bus and continued to talk about the incident, cursing as he did so.
“When he was leaving he was cursing. I don't know the exact words,” the witness said. Asked who Mr Mungal was cursing at, he said he was directing his words to Ms Trott-Edwards.
He said that while Mr Mungal was not walking towards the accused during the exchange of words, he had been facing her when she picked up a wooden bat and swung twice at his left upper arm.
When she swung the bat, Mr Trott-Ray said the victim had his guard up and fists clenched, but it did not appear that he was going to punch her.
He said Ms Trott-Edwards then swung a third time, striking Mr Mungal on the left side of the head above the ear, knocking him to the ground. Mr DeSilva then helped Mr Mungal to his feet, and they walked away.
“It felt to me like it hurt him,” Mr Trott-Ray said. “How he got hit, the sound and how he got dazed. He was tripping and stuff. He couldn't walk properly. He was all over the place.”
He told the court he did not see Mr Mungal approach the accused, raise a hand to her or threaten her before he was struck on the head.
During cross-examination, the teenager said he had known Ms Trott-Edwards for years and, while she had scolded him for cursing before, she had never struck him other than in a playful manner.
The trial continues.
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