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Prosecutor claims Blakeney masterminded double shooting

A man accused of masterminding a double shooting faced allegations from a prosecutor this morning that he was trying to lie his way out of trouble.

According to Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Cindy Clarke, Parkside associate Jahmel Blakeney arranged the attempted murder of footballer Shaki Minors and his pregnant girlfriend Renee Kuchler after spotting them at the Southside Cinema in St David's.

She alleged that Mr Blakeney left the movie without watching it in order to drive back to Hamilton and arrange for his co-accused, Sanchey Grant, 20, to come and shoot the victims.

Mr Minors and Ms Kuchler were seriously injured when a gunman opened fire on them as they left the cinema at 11.30pm on November 13, 2009.

Mr Minors believes the attack was perpetrated by the Parkside gang due to his links to the rival 42 gang. Police expert Alexander Rollin named Mr Grant as a member of that gang earlier in the trial, and Mr Blakeney as an associate.

When he took the witness box in Supreme Court in his own defence yesterday, Mr Blakeney, 30, claimed he only left the movie early because his girlfriend bought tickets for a film he did not wish to see. He said that when he noticed the film name, Precious, on his movie ticket, he got back in his car and drove back to Hamilton. He claimed he then spent the evening with friends, drinking and smoking cannabis at Western Stars sports club in Pembroke and then at St David's Cricket Club.

Today, however, Ms Clarke called evidence from Southside Cinema's owner and manager Alden Ray. He told the jury that the cinema has not printed the name of movies on its tickets since 2005 or 2006.

Cross examining Mr Blakeney, the prosecutor alleged that his story does not add up, and his phone records show the true story of what happened.

“When you came up to Southside in your car you saw Shaki Minors, and you know he is 42. And when you saw him, you called Parkside,” she suggested.

“That's incorrect,” replied Mr Blakeney.

“You made calls to rally the boys, and then you sped back town. And while you were driving back town you called Parkside again,” continued the prosecutor, who went on to allege that he picked up “somebody from Parkside” and some gloves and a gun before heading back to St David's.

She suggested he gave his navy-blue jacket, which was later found to have gunshot residue on it, to his co-accused Sanchey Grant. Mr Grant is accused of being the gunman who attacked the couple.

“That's incorrect,” replied Mr Blakeney again.

Ms Clarke suggested that once the crime had been committed, Mr Blakeney and Mr Grant waited until they thought “the coast was clear,” but ended up getting flagged down by the police as they exited St David's in a jeep.

“You saw the police when you were coming out of St David's and you failed to stop when they told you to and you sped past them on the roundabout. And that gun was dumped out of the window of your car and it's only then that you stopped,” she alleged.

“That's incorrect,” replied Mr Blakeney.

A Beretta pistol, which prosecutors say was used in the attempted murder, was found on the side of Kindley Field Road the following morning.

“Mr Blakeney, I'm going to suggest to you that you haven't been completely honest with us in your evidence over the last few days. I'm going to suggest that you're making this up as you go along,” said Ms Clarke.

“That's incorrect,” replied Mr Blakeney, once again.

Co-defendant Mr Grant is set to make a decision on whether he wishes to give evidence in his own defence this afternoon. He and Mr Blakeney deny charges of attempted murder and gun possession and the case continues.

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Published November 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm (Updated November 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm)

Prosecutor claims Blakeney masterminded double shooting

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