Lawyers Deliver Closing Speeches in Chin Murder Trial

| November 17, 2011

The defence in the Jay Marie Chin murder trial has labelled the prosecution’s case as worrying with massive doubts.

Cosbert Cumberbatch was at the time making his closing address to the jury yesterday.

Jay Marie Chin is accused of murdering her ex-husband Raymond Chin on Saturday November 28, 2009 at their upper Church Street business – Jay Chin Top Notch Variety Store.

Raymond was reportedly shot 13 times to his upper body and died at Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) shortly after his arrival.

The incident was reported initially to be as a result of a robbery. However, attention later turned to Jay Marie Chin based on certain investigative leads.

She was arrested and charged with Raymond’s murder.

Cumberbatch, in addressing the court, which had convened in the courtroom of the chief magistrate at the St John’s Magistrates’ Court, said the prosecution has failed to prove its case against Jay Marie beyond reasonable doubt.

He told members of the jury that they must feel sure about the evidence presented during the trial and be able to live with themselves at the end of the day.

“Your (the jury) task is a heavy one. You have a heavy responsibility to decide on a verdict you can live with for the rest of your lives. The prosecution must prove every aspect of its case to make you feel sure and certain.

“This case is a very worrying case. It is the most worrying case I had in my whole career. In this case there are massive doubts and you can’t convict a person on a hunch or feeling. The prosecution must prove its case and it has not done so,” Cumberbatch told the jury.

The attorney said that there was no evidence whatsoever to convict Jay Marie Chin and to do so would be a travesty of justice.

Cumberbatch told the 12-member panel that not one of the prosecution’s witnesses had a complete view of the western end of the door of the store.

He said Jay Marie’s version of the events that day has been consistent – in terms of her seeing a man in a hooded shirt jump the railing of the store and run westwards on Church Street.

According to the accused woman’s lawyer, the prosecution’s case is based on a flimsy theory that since nobody saw anyone running away from the store then the accused shot her husband.

“The prosecution’s duty is not to convict at all cost. Witnesses came here with the intent to lie. They were prepared to lie…. They deliberately lied. A big gun, no firearm found. This case is a mass of patch-work.

“This case worries me greatly. The case was conducted against proper police procedures. Everything is wrong with this case,” Cumberbatch said.

He continued, “This is the most simple theory I ever heard in all my years. You here, so you must have killed him. She should not have been charged.

“Should you take away her life, her freedom because nobody saw anybody running from the store?”

Cumberbatch said the absence of the murder weapon is consistent with the accused not shooting her ex-husband.

While discrediting the evidence of the prosecution’s witnesses and asking the jury to dismiss the evidence of at least three witnesses, who he deemed not to be credible, Cumberbatch told the court that the Crown’s case lacks motive, evidence of violence and forensic evidence to link Jay Marie to the crime. The attorney said there was no blood on her and no fingerprints found.

Cumberbatch questioned why Jay Marie would call for help if she killed her husband.

“There is not a scintilla of evidence to link her to the crime. … If the evidence does not fit, you must acquit. The evidence does not fit. No gun, no gunshot residue (GSR), no motive. In those circumstances there must be serious doubt, and in those cases the accused must be acquitted,” the attorney said during his address that lasted about two hours.

In his closing remarks, Crown Counsel Adlai Smith told members of the jury that based on the evidence no one other than Jay Marie Chin could have committed the heinous crime.

Smith said the 34-year-old accused gave varying stories to different people about the incident.

The prosecutor reminded the jury that Jay Marie told the 911 emergency operator that someone had entered the shop, demanded her ex-husband’s watch and after he (Raymond) refused to hand it over he was shot.

Carson “Upper Cut” Matthew also testified that Jay Marie told him the exact same thing. Smith said the testimonies of both witnesses are consistent. He told the jury to ask themselves if both persons had conspired to tell that story.  Smith said if Jay Marie was in the bathroom as she told investigators, how was she able to say what Raymond was being robbed of.

“This is a case of circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial mathematics. Two people in a room, one way in, one way out. One was shot. What conclusion can we come to, did he shoot himself or did the first person to leave the building do it?

“The only person seen coming out of the shop was Jay Chin, no one else. If no one was seen coming from the store then the only person who could have been involved in the incident is Jay Marie Chin,” Smith said.

He questioned why then was there not any money on the floor, no sign of a scuffle or no objects thrown to the floor if the incident was a robbery.

Smith quipped that maybe the alleged robber had an overflow of disappearing powder.

According to Smith, the alleged robber would have been in the area checking out the place and having seen Jay Marie leave the store, would have known how much time he would need to commit the robbery.

Smith said days after Raymond’s death, Jay Marie wanted to open the store to make money to bury him. The crown counsel questioned why two years later, during a visit to the crime scene, she did not want to go into the store.

“Her credibility was in tatters long before this matter began. She did not need to be cross-examined,” Smith said referring to the fact that she opted to make an unsworn statement, which is her right under law.

Smith reminded the jury of the inconsistencies of Jay Marie’s own witnesses.

One of her cousins said she was told that the accused heard nothing while in the bathroom, while the other cousin said Jay Marie said she heard explosions.

The crown counsel told the jury that Jay Marie Chin’s first lie to the police was that she was on the store’s veranda drinking juice shortly before they began to close the store.

She reportedly told officers on another occasion that she was pricing items shortly before her business closed.

Smith said she also gave differing versions of why she went to the bathroom. In one instance she said she went to the facility to lock it up. She told someone else she went there to answer a phone call. The accused told a family member that she went to the bathroom to get wipes to clean Raymond’s shoes.

“Lies.  Glaring self-contradiction. If she is a victim then why change her story?” Smith queried.

Smith made mention of the fact that Jay Marie told the police about the noise level of the nearby barber shop – in that they played their radio and television loudly.

Smith said this is an indication that she was aware of her environs and had all this in mind before she killed her ex-husband.

The prosecutor also spoke of the life insurance policy that the deceased had and in which Jay Marie was the sole beneficiary.  One of her cousins testified to knowing this while the other had no clue about it.

Smith said this could be deemed as a likely motive for the killing. The case continues today when presiding judge Justice Richard Floyd is expected to direct the jury on the law as it pertains to the evidence.

Shannon Jones is assisting Smith while John Fuller and Charlesworth Browne are assisting Cumberbatch in defending Jay Marie.

(Source http://www.antiguaobserver.com/?p=67159)

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