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Jury hears first evidence for trio accused of 2022 stabbing death

The trial of three men accused of fatally stabbing Marcus Wilson opened in the Supreme Court yesterday with the jury hearing evidence of a scuffle between the men.

Isaiah Smith, Omari Williams and Jaja DeSilva have denied allegations that they murdered Mr Wilson on August 20, 2022, in Warwick.

Mr Smith and Mr Williams have also denied charges that they unlawfully had a knife with a blade longer than three inches in a public place on the same date.

Daniel Kitson-Walters, for the Crown, said Mr Smith had briefly lived on the same property as the victim.

However, days before the murder, the defendant was asked to leave.

“We are saying instead of leaving peacefully that day, Mr Smith threatened Mr Wilson,” he said. “A few days later, Mr Wilson was stabbed and killed.”

Mr Kitson-Walters said the jury would hear evidence that Mr Smith had confronted Mr Wilson at the property alongside Mr Williams and Mr DeSilva.

The Crown alleges that the men killed Mr Wilson together.

Mr Kitson-Walters said that while no witness would say they saw who fatally stabbed Mr Wilson, circumstantial evidence would show the defendants were jointly involved.

“What we expect you to hear is who had knives and who didn’t,” he said. “What we expect you to hear is who made the threat.

“What we expect you to hear is Mr Wilson suffered from multiple stab wounds and these three defendants left his house that day.”

Joshua White told the court that on the day of the murder he had been invited to a raft-up on a boat along with Mr DeSilva, a longtime friend.

He said the pair met at Southampton Rangers Sports Club and he had a few drinks before they drove to the boat owner’s residence and found he was not home.

Instead, Mr White said, the pair decided to go to Tribe Road No 5 to hang out.

He told the court that on arrival they saw Mr Williams and Mr Smith, who was in a leg cast.

The group talked until it started to rain, when all four retreated to Mr White’s car for shelter.

Mr White said he suggested that they go for a drive, and stopped at the South Shore Rubis for petrol.

Video footage from the petrol station showed the car arrive at about 7.57pm and leave shortly after 8.01pm.

As they headed off, he said someone suggested they stop by Mr Wilson’s house, although he could not recall who said it.

Mr White said that when they arrived at the property, Mr Wilson came out and began to approach the car, while Mr Williams got out and went towards him.

“They were having a conversation,” Mr White said. “It wasn’t a long conversation. They started grappling.”

He told the court that during the scuffle, Mr Wilson’s brother became involved and Mr Smith got out of the car and approached the fight.

Mr White said the scuffle moved out of his view before Mr Wilson and Mr Williams returned, still fighting.

“Omari and Marcus made their way out of the yard and they tripped over some trash cans and fell to the ground,” he said.

“At that point, Ja got out of the car and attempted to stop it.”

Minutes after they arrived, Mr White said all three defendants were back in the car and were leaving the area.

Mr White said he was irritated by their behaviour and asked them what had happened, with Mr DeSilva agreeing that it was “stupid”.

After they left, he said they helped Mr Smith move some furniture before he dropped the three defendants off at their homes.

Under cross-examination, Mr White accepted that he had been drinking and was “a little intoxicated” during the incident.

“I was still functional,” he said. “I wasn’t tripping over myself or belligerent.”

Mr White said he could not hear the conversation between Mr Wilson and Mr Smith and he could not say who was the aggressor.

He added that nothing was said in the car to suggest the defendants had any problem with Mr Wilson.

He accepted that he had seen Mr Wilson with an item in his hand during the altercation, and that Mr Smith had said that Mr Wilson had attacked him with a hammer.

However, he denied seeing any weapon wielded by Mr Wilson’s brother or seeing any of the defendants with a knife.

Mr White also recalled that Mr DeSilva was holding his face and bleeding when he returned to the car.

He did not remember the other defendants helping him back into the vehicle.

He told the court that when they left the scene, he had no idea that anyone had been seriously injured.

He was not aware that Mr Wilson had suffered a stab wound to the leg, until after he was arrested by police the next morning.

The trial, presided over by Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe, is expected to last two to three weeks.

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