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Detective denies inducing witness testimony

A witness in the case against a murder accused was promised nothing for his testimony, a police detective told a court yesterday.

Detective Inspector Michael Redfern said that Troy Harris was not forced or offered anything to give evidence against Khyri Smith-Williams, who is charged with the 2011 killing of Colford Ferguson, a father of one, as he worked on a house at the junction of Mangrove Bay Road and East Shore Road, Somerset Island, in February 2011.

Mr Redfern, of the serious crime unit, said that he had been involved in the case since June 2016.

He told the jury that he and fellow officer Leroy Mathurin carried out the first of two interviews with Mr Harris at a prison in Birmingham, England, that month.

Mr Redfern said they went to England to talk to Mr Harris to gather evidence in connection with the murder of wheelchair-bound Lorenzo Stovell on Boaz Island, in Sandys in 2012.

He said that Mr Harris told the officers that he had other information he wanted to provide.

Mr Redfern said that Mr Harris talked about the murder of Colford Ferguson in another interview later the same day.

Carrington Mahoney, for the prosecution, asked Mr Redfern: “Did he make any requests of you before giving this information?”

Mr Redfern said that Mr Harris had not.

He added: “The only thing he highlighted was concerns for his family and himself.”

Mr Redfern said that he believed at the time of the interview Mr Harris's mother was living on Somerset's Broome Street.

Mr Mahoney asked: “Did you promise him anything before, during, after?”

Mr Redfern replied: “No, sir.”

Another interview with Mr Harris took place in July 2017 at Oakwood prison in Staffordshire, England.

Mr Mahoney asked: “On this occasion did he make any requests of you? Did you promise him anything? Did you threaten him in any way?”

Mr Redfern replied no to all three questions.

He added that neither he nor the Bermuda Police had anything to do with Mr Harris being moved from Birmingham to a more modern jail in Staffordshire.

Jerome Lynch QC, defence counsel for Mr Smith-Williams, said that there were at first a number of suspects identified by police in connection with Mr Ferguson's murder.

Mr Lynch told the jury that another man, Duante Darrell, had been “bragging” about having committed the murder, which was used as grounds for a warrant for police to search Mr Darrell's home.

Mr Smith-Williams, 27, is charged with premeditated murder and the use of a firearm to commit an indictable offence.

He denies both charges. Mr Harris said that Mr Smith-Williams had confessed his involvement in the killing to Mr Ferguson. He added that Mr Smith-Williams had told him it was another man, Rasheed Muhammad, who pulled the trigger and that Mr Ferguson was the victim of mistaken identity.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

No inducements to testify: Troy Harris

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Published October 12, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated October 12, 2018 at 8:46 am)

Detective denies inducing witness testimony

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