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Murder accused claims addict sold him dead man’s phone

Jevon Daniels (File photograph)

A man accused of murdering his housemate told police that he bought the dead man’s phone from a drug addict without knowing where it had come from.

During a police interview carried out days after Jevon Daniels was found dead, Davin Providence said that he had purchased a phone from a “juice head” named “Gary” on the morning of May 14, 2016, for $20.

“The guy offered it,” he said. “He said he just found it.”

Mr Providence said the phone lacked a Sim card and had no photographs or contacts on it, stating it had been “wiped”.

However, in a follow-up interview the next day, officers told him that the phone had belonged to Mr Daniels, with photographs of him and his son recovered from the device.

Mr Providence maintained his story, telling officers: “You think I’m going to kill somebody and keep the cellphone? Is that your train of thought? Be for real.”

Mr Providence has denied a charge that he murdered Mr Daniels on an unknown date between May 13 and June 17, 2016.

Mr Daniels’s body was discovered wrapped up in plastic and blue tape on June 17, 2016, near an area of waste ground adjoining Ireland Rangers Field on Ireland Island, Sandys.

A forensic pathologist was unable to confirm a cause of death because of the level of decomposition.

Another witness said that phone records showed a Sim card linked to Mr Daniels was last used in his phone in the evening of May 13.

The court heard that the following morning, a Sim card associated with Mr Providence was used with the phone and a number of social media accounts related to Mr Providence were linked to the device.

A forensic analysis of the phone also revealed that photographs of Mr Daniels and his son had been deleted from the device at some point.

In a witness interview, recorded before Mr Daniels’s body was found, Mr Providence said that Mr Daniels had lived with him on and off since late 2014.

He said that Mr Daniels had slept in his home on the evenings of May 13 and 14.

He last saw Mr Daniels in the early hours of May 16, but turned him away and told him not to come back to the home.

The court heard Mr Providence was arrested after the body of Mr Daniels was found.

He took part in further interviews on June 24 and 25 that year without a lawyer present.

In the first of the interviews, played to the Supreme Court jury yesterday, Mr Providence said that he owned two phones including one which he bought some time between 10am and 11am on May 14.

He also told officers that he had seen Mr Daniels using his phone earlier that morning, but he understood he was going to a phone shop that day.

As the interview continued, he told the court that he was not initially worried about Mr Daniels’s wellbeing and assumed he had gone quiet because he had gone into hiding until police got involved.

“I had heard a lot of weird rumours,” he said. “I thought it was just people being dopey.

“I heard little rumours, little jokes, this and that. When you guys popped up, I thought this was serious.”

Mr Providence said he never attempted to call Mr Daniels or message him, but denied that the reason was that he already knew he was dead.

He told the officers that the reason he did not attempt to reach out was because others were already doing so.

“They already told me they called, so I didn’t try to call,” he said.

Mr Providence said he heard that Mr Daniels’s body had been found because someone drove to his job site and said that he was discovered in “trash bags” near Rangers football field.

He denied the suggestion that he was the last person to see Mr Daniels alive, stating that he had heard from others who had seen him after the morning of May 16.

“I’m not the only person who has been told this and I don’t understand how that is still the belief that I’m the last person to see him,” Mr Providence said.

However, he refused to give police the identity of anyone else who had seen Mr Daniels.

In a follow-up interview the next day, officers told Mr Providence that the phone he said he had purchased from a drug addict was the one owned by Mr Daniels.

They also argued that, based on the timeline put forward by the defendant, Mr Providence had said Mr Daniels had his phone with him less than two hours before he claimed to have bought the phone.

Mr Providence maintained his innocence.

The trial, before Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe, 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.