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Trio found not guilty of fatal stabbing in 2022

Three men were cleared of allegations that they murdered Marcus Wilson after a judge found there was no case to answer.

Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe instructed a Supreme Court jury to find Isaiah Smith, Omari Williams and Jaja DeSilva not guilty of the August 2022 murder.

He further ordered the jury to find Mr Smith and Mr Williams not guilty of charges that they unlawfully possessed knives with blades longer than three inches on the same date.

“At the close of the prosecution’s case, I was called upon to determine as a matter of law whether there is evidence on which you could reach a verdict of guilty,” Mr Justice Wolffe said.

“I concluded that there is no evidence on which you can find beyond a reasonable doubt that on August 20, 2022 the accused killed Marcus Wilson and that on the same day Mr Smith and Mr Williams had a bladed article on their person.”

The judge said in the circumstances that the verdict must come from the jury, but the jury had no choice but to find the defendants not guilty on all of the charges.

After the not-guilty verdict was delivered, Mr Justice Wolffe released the jury and the three men who had been accused.

Over the course of the trial, jurors heard from one witness who said that on the evening of the fatal stabbing he had driven the three defendants to Mr Wilson’s home.

While he said a scuffle broke out, he told the court he could not tell who the aggressor was.

The witness added that while he had not seen the entire altercation from the car, he had not seen any of the defendants with a knife and had no idea anyone was seriously injured until he was arrested the following morning.

A second witness told the court that he had seen a car drive up to Mr Wilson’s home but that he had not seen a fight, only the aftermath.

After his evidence concluded on Monday, in the absence of the jury, the Crown told the court that they had filed a “nolle prosequi”, which indicated that the Crown did not wish to pursue the case further.

While a nolle prosequi halts proceedings, it also allows the Crown to relaunch proceedings within a one-year period.

However, counsel for the defendants argued that the move was unfair to their clients and instead urged the court to find that there was no case to answer.

Mr Justice Wolffe said yesterday morning that it would be an abuse of process for the court to release the indictment to allow a nolle prosqequi.

While he said that the Crown would be allowed to continue to put forward its case to the jury, prosecutors instead closed their case, with defence counsel then successfully submitting that their clients had no case to answer.

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