While Krystal Morgan’s parents — preacher and educator Nigel Morgan and office clerk Althia Morgan– were busy in the street trying to “heal” a villager of what they had diagnosed as a spiritual illness, their daughter was having a spiritual experience of her own in their house nearby.
“I felt as if my soul left my body,” she told the Kingstown Magistrate court on Feb. 2.
With her soul having apparently left her, Krystal found herself standing where her parents were “anointing” with olive oil a man they had earlier “threatened” to pray for.
Krystal, 23, told the court that she was under the weather because of period pains and had put on the electric kettle so she could make tea.
She further said she does not know how she got from her house to the street or what transpired with the kettle she later realised she was holding.
However, a video, which was not tendered in evidence in the case, showed the older Morgans holding Cuthbert Victory as Krystal doused him with the hot contents of the electric kettle.
The video was not tendered in evidence because the person who recorded it left the state before police could secure a deposition.
The Morgans are charged that on April 9, 2016, at Hopewell, they caused grievous bodily harm to Victory, a resident of Caruth, Mesopotamia.
Krystal told the court that she was in the study at home when she heard a strange noise but could not hear distinctly what was being said.
She said that it was around that time that she went to boil the kettle, when she heard her father shouting, “Bring the thing! Bring the oil!”
Krystal said that she did not want to get involved in the confrontation so she didn’t carry the oil.
She, however, said that when she was about to take off the kettle, she heard some tinkering of glass, which caught her attention and she heard a sound like a crowd saying, “Fight him! Fight him!”
“I just felt like my soul left my body. I panicked. I don’t remember what happened but I felt really scared,” Krystal said, adding that she later found herself in the road.
Her father was pinned under a stranger’s weight and her parents were trying to pull away, said the woman, who, like her parents, cried during her testimony.
She said she was scared that her parents would be injured or killed.
Krystal told the court that she felt the weight of the kettle in her hand, and, not thinking, she tried to pour the hot water on Victory’s back.
She said that while pouring the hot water, she realised that she could be hurting someone and “pulled back the same time”.
During cross-examination, by Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche, Crustal told the court that she is a Christian and was baptised three years ago, when she was 20.
She said she did not know who was fighting but the context led her to believe that her parents were involved.
Krystal denied any plan between she and her parent to boil the water and throw it on Victory.
She said that the cursing went on for 10 minutes, adding that 10 minutes was enough time to boil the kettle.
She, however, said that even at the date of her testimony, she still did not know whom she had hurt.
In his evidence in chief, Mr. Morgan told the court that he left his gate around 5:15 p.m. on the date of the incident to go to choir practise at Lauders.
He said he was holding a conversation with one Shernel Cato when “Mafia” — as the virtual complainant is commonly known — came from the direction of Greiggs and started to cuss.
Mr. Morgan told the court that Victory said that he knows that Mr. Morgan is a pastor and he has to behave well around him, but that he was not afraid to cuss around the cleric.
“F**k you, Mr. Morgan! Haul you mother c*** and others too bad for me to mention,” Morgan said in recounting Victory’s words.
“Expletives like rain,” Mr. Morgan further said,” adding, “So with wisdom, I quietly walked back to my gate, where I stood waiting for a van to go to Lauders.”
The preacher said that Victory went to a house that police said was 16.5 feet away.
He pulled out what appeared to be marijuana and, looking boozed, Victory began smoking the plant material resembling marijuana.
Mr. Morgan said that Victory began to play on the jukebox songs by Jamaican dancehall artiste Movado and Vibes cartel.
“The name of the song had F, F, F — the whole word,” Mr. Morgan said, referring to the common expletive.
He said the lyrics also used a vulgar term for the vagina.
“Too much for me to continue that song,” Mr. Morgan told the court.
He said that he knew that the parents of the children who live nearby were out and he usually takes it as his responsibility to take care of them.
Morgan said that he called out to his neighbour, Clint Blugh — who would be the State’s key witness in the case — asking him why he harbours Victory in the area.
“Haul yo’ mother c***. This is not your place,” Mr. Morgan said Victory retorted and accused him (Morgan) of wanting to engage him in a same sex act.
Mr. Morgan said that at this point, he raised his hands and said, “The blood of Jesus.”
But Victory continued to curse, telling Mr. Morgan that his wife had lowered her dignity in marrying him.
At this point, Mrs. Morgan who was on the patio of the first floor of their two-storey house, shouted to Victory, telling him to leave her name out of the fracas.
“She came down quietly and went across the house quietly and continued to tell him not to call her name in anything,” Mr. Morgan said.
“Her hands were in the air and she said, ‘The blood of Jesus on you, Mafia’,” Mr. Morgan told the court.
He said that at this point, Victory began to tremble, took his knapsack off his back, fiddled inside it and said, “Church mash up!”
Mr. Morgan said that at this point, Victory left the neighbour’s yard, went to the crossroad some distance away and began cursing at them, daring them to fight, adding that he was coming back where the Morgans were.
“I said, ‘Don’t come up. Don’t come up or I will pray for you with my olive oil.’ And like a raging bull with piercing eyes, he started coming up to my gate where I was standing there and he came and spoke to a young man, Tyson, who was standing there,” Mr. Morgan told the court.
Victory was salivating “like when you are delivering people in church,” Mr. Morgan said.
He said that Victory hit his wife a “powerful slap”, sending her reeling.
Mr. Morgan said he shouted to his son who was in their home, telling him, “Bring the oil! Bring the thing fast!
He said he opened the bottle of oil, poured some on his hand and started to pray for Victory.
“In that same instant, he swung a box, the bottle broke. Your honour, box like rain he pelting on me. I tried to hold his hand and saw my wife come and push Mafia away. He slapped her again and grabbed her.”
Mr. Morgan said he, his wife and Victory fell into a gutter causing him (Mr. Morgan) to strike his head.
He said that in his haziness, he did not know what happened, but added that while Victory was being pulled off him, he felt a burning sensation.
Mr. Morgan said that when he went back into the house, he realised that he had been burnt on the hand.
During cross examination, Mr. Morgan told the court that he did not call the police because he had not been in fear, adding that he was “under verbal attack”.
He said that the prosecution’s key witness in the case was lying when he said that he (Mr. Morgan) held Victory with one hand and his daughter poured hot water on him.
The accused man, however, said he never had any issues with the witness, whom he described as “a fairly honest person”, that will not want him to lie about what had happened.
Mr. Morgan admitted to the court that Victory never asked to be prayed for and that it is not necessary to use olive oil while praying for someone.
“The scripture says pray for the sick with olive oil and when you suspect — when people are bringing up fluids that are not natural to come from their salivary gland, that person is sick spiritually and olive oil kicks in. When delivering people from these types of bondage, olive oil is used,” Mr. Morgan told the court.
Asked who diagnosed Victory as sick, Mr. Morgan told the court, he said: “I know from experience that he was in some sort of mental illness.”
Mr. Morgan said that he does not agree that pouring water on someone is a wicked and ungodly act, unless the person didn’t do anything.
He said he did not know if Victory deserved to be burnt with hot water that day, adding that part of his duty as a preacher is to pray for people.
Morgan told the court that the scripture says that the oil brings the Holy Spirit.
But Delplesche retorted, “The holy oil is the hot water that was poured on the man.”
Mrs. Morgan’s testimony largely supported her husband’s account of what happened.
She, however, told the court that she did not see, but only heard of how Victory was burnt, adding that when she and her husband came out of the gutter after the tussle with Victory, she saw her daughter with a kettle.
Mrs. Morgan told the court that her daughter had acted on the spur of the moment as she was making tea.
“Thank God she was not cutting a bread and ran with the knife nor was trimming the yard and run with a cutlass,” the senior prosecutor retorted.
The defence did not call any other witnesses material to the case. Pastor Manson Shortte testified as a character witness.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett will give his verdict at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday.