Advertisement 269
Advertisement 211
The Johns Ashelle

From left, the virtual complainant, Cornelius John, left, his wife, Nicole, and Senator Morgan, one of the two defendants. (iWN photos)

Nicole John, wife of Cornelius John, the virtual complainant in the Morgan/Nelson trial laughed when one of the defence lawyers suggested that she is afraid of her husband because he is violent.

“I am afraid of my husband? My husband could be the best husband any woman can get, the best father any woman could get. He just has his shortcomings,” Mrs. John told the Mesopotamia Magistrate’s Court last week Monday, Nov. 15, the fourth day of the trial and second day of her testimony. 

Mrs. John was called as a witness for the Crown in the trial of government senator, Ashelle Morgan, a lawyer, who was accused of assaulting John on April 13.

Morgan was tried alongside Karim Nelson, an assistant director of public prosecutor, who was accused of wounding John unlawfully by shooting him in the left leg, and also unlawfully discharging a firearm at him, at Diamond Estate, on April 13.

Last Thursday, Nov. 18, Magistrate Bertie Pompey upheld no case submissions by Duane Daniel, Morgan’s lawyer, and Nelson’s counsel, Ronald “Ronnie” Marks, and acquitted both defendants, bringing an end to the trial, which took place in Calliaqua. 

Advertisement 21

Mr. John is to be tried on a charge that on April 13, at Diamond, he used threatening language to Morgan.

Lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste is representing him in that matter, and also held a watching brief in the trial of Morgan and Nelson. 

The trial resumed on Friday, Nov. 12, the third day, at 9:11 a.m. Mrs. John took the stand and, like all the other witnesses, was affirmed. 

Her testimony began at 9:18 a.m. and she told the court that she has known Morgan for a while as she has been living in the area for a while. 

She said that between December 2020 and April 2021 she and Morgan “used to associate ourselves with each other and also do things together”.

This happened about five times. “In December, we did a Christmas package together — deliver things to needy people in the community,” she said in her evidence-in-chief, led by the prosecutor S. Stephen Brette, the deputy director of public prosecution in St. Lucia who was contracted to prosecute the matter.

Morgan and Mrs. John “went through the constituency to see the needs of the people. “And after the Soufriere erupted, we went to the shelters to see what was taking place and the needs of them and how we could assist the people.”

Mrs. John said that she and Morgan would walk when engaged in these activities “in my constituency” and would use Morgan’s car when going to “the other constituency”.

Mrs. John identified Morgan in court by pointing her out seated in the area reserved for the accused.  

Nicole John 3
Nicole John leaves the court last Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, Day 4 of the trial. (iWN photo)

The witness told the court that she and her husband have been in a relationship for 25 years and married for 21 years. They have three children. They include one girl, Cornelia John, Mrs. John said, and the prosecutor asked her not to name the other two children but to say who they are. Mrs. John said they are two boys.

She told the court that she and her husband have not been living together since December 2020. In April 2021, she was living “not too far from where my husband living and just the road separates us”.

Mrs. John has since moved to another area of Diamond Estate.  

She said that while she and her husband were not living together between December 2020 and April 2021, they were on speaking terms. 

“At that time, we still had working connections together,” she said, telling the court that she and Mr. John still were living as husband and wife although they did not live in the same house. 

She said that on April 13, about 9 a.m., she was speaking with her husband and they came to an agreement. 

Because of the hearsay rule, which allows the court to hear only certain statements allegedly made in the absence of a defendant, Mrs. John was not permitted to say what the agreement was. “Immediately after the conversation, me and Ms. Morgan, we leave to go on our journey to the shelters,” Mrs. John said.

They used Morgan’s vehicle. 

She said that sometime between 11 a.m. and noon, she received a call from her husband but Morgan was not able to hear that conversation. “We continue our journey and I received a second phone call from my husband.”

That was between 1 and 1:30 p.m. and Mrs. John spoke with her husband, but Morgan was not able to hear the call.

The two women “continue to journey to the shelters” and Mrs. John received a third call from her husband. “I turned on the speaker. He said to me, ‘What happen you want me to invoke the demon in me and chop off your neck?’ 

“So after he said that, I just listened him. Then me and Ms Morgan journey back home in the car.”

Mrs. John said that when she got home, she told Morgan to leave her “at the top gate” to the house where she (Mrs. John) lived. “She left me at the top gate and she go round at the bottom gate and stopped.”

Mr. John was at his gate.

“She stopped there (bottom gate) to give me three cases of water,” Mrs. John continued. She said she took about three minutes between when she exited the vehicle at the top gate and when she went to the bottom gate to get the water.

“Because Mr. John was still arguing and telling me I cannot come out of the gate.” 

Morgan’s vehicle was still at Mrs. John’s gate but Mrs. John was unable to see Morgan through the tinted windows of the vehicle.

Mrs John pointed out 12 feet as the distance between where Mr. John was at his gate arguing and where Ms Morgan’s vehicle was parked.  

“I sent for the water. I sent my cousin,” Mrs. John said. She was on the porch of the house in which she was living when her cousin went for the water.  The porch is elevated and Mrs. John had a clear view of her husband at his place. She said that he did not have a cutlass or anything in his hand and she could hear clearly what he was saying. He was looking in her direction when he was arguing. 

Morgan’s car was “not exactly” opposite to Mr. John, his wife told the court. 

Mrs. John continued: 

“After he was arguing, Ms Morgan drove off and she left. She left him arguing and she drove off.”

After Morgan drove off, she called Mrs. John on her cellphone, asking her what to do.

“I said to her if she feel threatened, do what she want to do. She called me a second time — I didn’t take much stock of the time. She said to me, ‘The police came? I called the police.’ I responded and tell her no police came. 

“She called me a third time. During that third call, I heard she was trying to catch her breath. So I asked her if everything is ok. She said yes but she and the DPP was walking coming down the road.”

It was about 6 o’clock, Mrs. John told the court.

“I came out of the house back on the porch to see where they were going. They entered Mr. John yard. I am referring to Ms. Morgan and two gentlemen.”

Although it was 6 p.m., Mrs. John was able to see what was happening because there was a street light directly in front of Mr. John’s house, she told the court. 

“When they went in (the yard), Ms Morgan stayed by the side, the tallest of the two was standing behind Mr. John and the other one by the side of Mr. John. While they were there, Mr. John was making noise. He was saying to Ms Morgan leave his family alone. And he keep saying that about three to four times. Mr. John was sitting on a blocks trying to raise up. And the tallest push him back down [by his shoulder].

“I heard when the tall one said to him, ‘Man relax, we come to talk.’ So I continued to listen attentively and hear Mr. John keep saying, ‘Leave my family alone.’ After that, I heard Mr. John crying. He say, ‘Oh God, alyo want to kill me? Kill me and done.’ After that noise, I heard like a gun crank and I heard when the bullet went off. After the bullet went off, I jumped. After the shooting finished, Ms Morgan and the two guys leave the yard.”

Karim Nelson Ashelle Morgan 1
The defendant, Karim Nelson, left, and Senator Ashelle Morgan leave the court last Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (iWN photo)

Mrs. John said that when the trio was leaving, the taller of the men was about eight feet in front and Morgan and the man was behind. “They went their way. I sent my cousin to see what happened,” Mrs. John told the court that she spoke to her cousin when her cousin returned. 

“After we spoke, I called Ms Morgan. I ask her, ‘Did you all shoot Cornie?’ She said to me, ‘Really?’ She said everything happen so fast she thought it was a warning shot. I said to her, ‘How you think it was a warning shot? So I said to her, ‘If you put the gun in the air to the roof, the bullet would travel back down.’ I said, ‘If you put the gun across the wall, it would bounce back.’ 

“Then she said to me she feel bad how it happen. So I said to her why she didn’t tell the man don’t shoot. She said to me, ‘Girl, everything happen so fast.’ So after she said that, I asked her, ‘So what would you do?’ She said, ‘I feel bad about what happened.’ And then she said to me, ‘What happen he will never mess with another woman again.’”

Mrs. John was about to tell the court what happened the following day, April 14, 2021, when the defence objected to Mrs. John’s testimony, saying that her statement had not been disclosed.

The legal arguments continued after the luncheon interval and the court was adjourned at 2:33 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12, to allow the prosecutor to disclose the statements to the defence, as the court had ordered. 

However, on Monday, Nov. 15, when the trial resumed, the lawyers renewed their objection to Mrs. John’s evidence about the alleged calls with Morgan to form part of the record of the trial. However, the court allowed Mrs. John’s testimony, and Mrs. John returned to the stand at 9:51 a.m.

On April 14, Mrs. John went to the Calliaqua Police Station and filed a report about her husband using threatening language to her. She told the court that the threats were made over the phone and in person at Diamond on April 13.

“I report him for he said to me that he would chop off my neck. She said that she made the report about 3:30 p.m. and an officer recorded her statement.

Then, on April 15, Mrs, John was at home, she told the court, when Morgan contacted her.

“I got a text message from Ms Morgan saying that I contradict everything, why I did not tell the police that Cornelius John had a cutlass because she put it in her statement.

“Friday the 16th of April, I went back to the police station to ask them to allow me to read over my statement. I was not allowed to read over the statement and the officer told me why,” said Mrs. John, who was not allowed to repeat the conversation with the officer because of the hearsay rule.

Mrs. John told the court that she was sure that Morgan texted her.

“Yes, she text me.”

The prosecutor then made an application to have Mrs. John view the photographs taken by Police Constable 933, Elroy Quammie, a crime scene investigator who visited the scene on June 6, almost eight weeks after the shooting.

In the photos, Mrs. John identified her husband and “our house” in which he was living at the time of the shooting.

“Where he is sitting there, he sitting on the same spot when they entered the yard,” she said of a photo which showed John sitting on a concrete brick.

In another photo, Mrs. John pointed out where she was living relative to her husband on April 13.

In another photo, she pointed out a gate as the one where Morgan dropped her off on April 13, adding that the gate where Morgan was waiting for her (Mrs. John) to get the water was not visible in the photo. She identified the gate in another photo.

Mrs. John’s evidence-in-chief ended at 10:13 a.m. and Daniel led off the cross examination.

Duane Daniel Ronnie
Counsel Ronald “Ronnie” Marks, left, and Duane Daniel leave the court last Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (iWN photo)

During cross-examination, Mrs. John told the court that she still lives in Diamond, but lives even further away from her husband than she did in April 2021. 

She said that on Dec. 31, 2020, she moved out of the house in which she and her husband used to live.

“I moved out there just to be comfortable and by myself because in a relationship there is conflict so I decided to be there by myself.”

She said there was “a misunderstand” in her marriage and she took their children with her.  Mrs. John said there was an incident between their son and Mr. John, but that was “not exactly” the reason why they moved out.

The incident was reported to the police, she said in response to a question from Daniel, and when asked if the incident involved any violence or physical attack, Mrs. John said: 

“They had an altercation between both of them — my son and my husband.” It became physical, but Mr. John was not the aggressor.

Mrs. John said Morgan calls her by her first name but “not to my knowing” has Morgan ever mistakenly called her “Michelle”. 

Mrs. John told the court that when she turned on the speaker on her phone while out with Morgan, it was her intention that Morgan would hear the conversation with her husband.

She said that during the call, Mr. John threatened to chop off her neck, sacrifice her head and blood to the devil, and to sacrifice her children to the devil.

“This made you scared?” Daniel asked. 

“Not really.” Mrs. John denied telling the police that she was scared or began to get scared. 

“So, you didn’t tell the police that after he said those things you began to get scared?” Daniel said. 

“No,” Mrs. John responded. 

Were threats amusing to you?

She told the court that she remembered her statement to the police on April 14, and confirmed, by her signature, that one shown to her in court was the said statement. 

“Yes, I gave this statement to the police,” Mrs. John told the court, adding, “It was never read over to me so I don’t know what is in it.”

When Daniel directed Mrs. John to a particular section of the statement, she held the document as if trying to figure out what was on it. 

The lawyer asked her if she could make out the handwriting and she said no.

PC 1095 Jones read the statement to Mrs. John in a hushed voice as the court had ordered. 

“I disagree. I never used those words,” Mrs. John told the court.

“So, your evidence is that you never told the police you began getting scared?” Daniel said.  “So, in spite of him telling you he would chop off your head, sacrifice your head and blood of the devil, to sacrifice your children, you didn’t begin getting scared?”

“No,” Mrs. John said. 

“So, you put it (phone) on speaker phone for Ms Morgan’s entertainment?” the lawyer asked. 

“I let her listen,” Mrs. John responded. 

“Because it was amusing to you so that is why you let her be similarly amused?”

“Not really.”

Mrs. John told the court that other than the threats that he made to her on the phone when the speaker was on, Mr. John had made threats to her on the phone earlier. “The same words,” she said of the threats.

She said that her husband had threatened violence against her and their grandchild and made threats to get a machine gun.

“And this was to shoot and kill you,” Daniel said. 

“I don’t know what he wanted it for,” Mrs. John responded. 

“He didn’t say shoot and kill you?”

“Gun shoot and kill but I know that when he can’t have full control, he would get angry and use words,” Mrs. John said.  

Asked if Ms Morgan had advised her to report the threats to the police, Mrs. John said, “Those were not her exact words.

“Ms Morgan said it is not a healthy situation and why I don’t go and get help or get out of the marriage.”

Wife ‘decided to ride along with’ marriage 

Mr Mrs John
Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius and Nicole John leave the court during the luncheon break last Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (iWN photo)

Mrs. John told the court that she had never asked Pastor Bascombe to intervene in their marriage because of her husband’s violent behaviour. “He came to talk to us one time because we were members of the church,” she said and confirmed that the pastor was concerned that she was being abused. 

“And this was basically because your husband was abusing you?” Daniel said. 

“I would not say he was abusing me in that way,” the woman said. She told the court it was not fair to say the relationship between she and her husband is a difficult one.

“It was not smooth sailing but in every relationship, there is conflict and misunderstanding so I decided to ride along with it.”

“So ride or die. Emphasis on the die,” Daniel said. 

Mrs. John said it was fair to say that her husband was verbally abusive to her, but not emotionally and physically abusive.

Daniel reminded Mrs. John of her statement to police and she denied telling the police that her husband is physically and emotionally abusive, despite it being included in the statement. 

“So the police put a lie in your statement?” Daniel asked?

“… he never read it over. That’s why I went back and ask him to read it over.”

The witness said that she “won’t say” that her husband has ever beaten her.

“Spank then?” Daniel said. “What you mean you won’t say beat?”

“I won’t say he hold me and beat me up,” Mrs. John told the court. 

“But he beat you?” Daniel asked. 

“One time. Not to say he hold me and beat me to damage my skin and all of that.”

“So you misbehaved and you were reprimanded and you’re satisfied?” the lawyer .

“I won’t say misbehave,” Mrs. John told the court. 

Daniel noted to John that on April 14, she went to the police and reported his threatening her and being verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. 

“In a threat, it is my duty to make a report. Anything else that happen I didn’t make a report,” she told the court. 

Asked if the top gate at which Morgan dropped her on April 13 was the one where she would normally get off, Mrs. John said:

“Any gate I choose to drop off; I tell her to leave me there.”

She told the court that the bottom gate is closer to where her husband lives but that the top gate is the one she normally used. 

Kay Bacchus Baptiste
Counsel Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, who has a watching brief, arrives at the court last Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (iWN photo)

Lawyers squabble over ‘go slowly’ comment 

At this point, Counsel Bacchus-Baptiste, who had a watching brief in the trial and is scheduled to defend Mr. John when he is tried for allegedly threatening Morgan, told Mrs. John to “go slowly”. 

Marks complained to the court that Bacchus-Baptiste had directly shouted instructions to the witness.

“Nobody asked for your assistance,” Daniel said. 

“I know how you feel,” Bacchus-Baptiste responded. 

“I feel you are interfering with the evidence,” Daniel retorted.

Marks complained that Bacchus-Baptiste was speaking so loudly that he could not hear what the witness was saying.

The magistrate reminded Bacchus-Baptiste that she had a watching brief in the matter.

She responded, telling the court that it is “only natural to make comments” but that she took strong objection to Daniel saying she was trying to influence the witness.

Daniel, however, said he was standing by comment that Bacchus-Baptiste’s statement was likely to influence the case.

“Not a soul has a watching brief in your matter because we are not trying to influence anything,” Daniel said.

He continued: “Now, let me see where we were before the unsolicited entertainment.

Daniel asked Mrs. John if the reason she asked to be dropped at the top gate had anything to do with her fearing any reaction from her husband.

“No. That’s where I normally walk whenever I go and come back.”

She told the court that she was to collect some water from Morgan, but Mr. John threatened her and told her not to come back out the gate.

She said she sent her cousin, Glendean Quammie, aka Ikeisha, to collect the water, but this had nothing to do with being afraid of Mr. John. “I only wanted to hear exactly what he was saying.”

She said that when Quammie went for the water, Quammie was closer to Mr. John than she (Mrs. John) was. 

“If it was your intention to be able to hear everything he was saying, would it not have been better to go closer?” Daniel asked.

“He was talking I could hear. I didn’t have to go closer,” Mrs. John said. 

“You stayed at a distance as an obedient wife to hear what he was saying?” the lawyer asked.

“Yes,” Mrs. John said.

She said she did not hear her husband threaten Morgan.

“He spoke openly. I could take it personal or she. He never said ‘Ms Morgan’. … He said he would get a machine gun and hand grenade.”

Ronnie Marks Stephen Brette
Defence counsel Ronald “Ronnie” Marks, left, and prosecutor, S. Stephen Brette. (iWN photos)

Argue law, not insults — prosecutor 

At 10:57 a.m., the prosecutor objected to Mrs. John telling the court what her husband had said. He argued that Daniel had not laid the legal foundation for the question.

Mrs. John was asked to leave the court as the lawyers made legal arguments. 

During the exchange, Marks said that the prosecutor was being ridiculous and his argument flies in the face of reason.

“Let’s argue law, not insults,” Brette said.

Mrs. John returned to dock at 11:01 a.m., the court having ruled to allow the question.

She said that her husband was making the threats loudly and Morgan’s car was closer to him than she (Mrs. John) was.

“So, what threats did your husband make when Ms Morgan’s car was there?” Daniel said.

Brette objected, saying that Mrs. John could not say what Ms Morgan heard and Daniel rebutted that she also could not say that Morgan could not hear.

The magistrate allowed the question.

“Your husband said he would get a machine gun and grenade?” Daniel asked Mrs. John. 

“He said machine gun and grenades. Never said he was going to shoot. He said he was going to get them.”

She said that her husband did not have a cutlass in her hand.

Calls from Morgan 

Mrs. John said that after Morgan left, the senator called her sometime later, but she would not say that the call was to check on her. “She called to say what to do,” Mrs. John responded.

Daniel replied: “Let me try to get this straight. I am trying to work out what is operating in your head. Husband threatened to chop head off, mentioned machine gun and grenades, to my mind you are in the house can’t move and Ms Morgan calls you to speak to you and she’s asking you what she must do?”

“Yes.”

“And was that in relation to your safety?” Daniel asked, triggering an objection by the prosecutor, who said the question calls for speculation

The magistrate asked Mrs. John the question and she replied, “She asked what to do.”

“Her phone call had nothing else, only those words?” Daniel asked.

“I said to her do what you want to do. ‘If you feel threatened, do what you want’,” Mrs. John told the court.

She said she “would say yes” that the conversation were about Mr. John’s threats.

“Didn’t the conversation relate to what to do in relation to his threats against you?” Daniel asked.

“Could be,” Mrs. John replied. 

She said that she and Morgan did not discuss calling the police but rather that Morgan had said that she had called the police. 

“And did she say why she called the police?” Daniel asked? 

“No. She said to me, ‘I called the police. Did the police come?’ Those were her words.”

Mrs. John said that she told Morgan that the police had not come but at no point did she tell Morgan not to call the police or discourage her from having the police come to the area.

“I gave her a choice. She said, ‘What to do?’ So, I tell her do what she wants.

Lawyers respond to the court’s acquittal of the defendants on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021.

‘I am not afraid of my husband.’

Mrs. John told the court that it was her understanding, from the conversation with Morgan, that the police were to come to speak with Mr. John about the threats.

As her cross-examination continued, Mrs. John, responding to a question from Daniel, said it is true that she did not want to give evidence in the trial.

“Is it true to say that you are feeling a lot of pressure, you are feeling uncomfortable about having to give evidence and all of that?” Daniel asked. 

“No. The truth is the truth,” Mrs. John said. 

She said that “at first” the matter was affecting her children. 

Mrs. John said she did not see when their daughter, Cornelia, went on the scene shortly after the shot rang out but that her daughter had told her that she was going.

She said that she sent her cousin to see what had happened at Mr. John’s.

“Was it because you were under orders not to leave the gate? Was your cousin your scout?” Daniel asked.

“Because I was with Ms Morgan that particular day I chose not to go on the scene,” Mrs. John said.

She told the court that she did not go to the hospital to visit her husband on any of the four days he spent there.

“But you found time the next day to go make a report against him?” Daniel said.

“Yes.”

“Do you speak to him now?” The lawyer further asked, and Mrs. John said yes.

She said that she and her husband did not speak for a month or two after the shooting.

Mrs. John said she had had several different telephone conversations with Morgan in between when Morgan left, after having dropped you off and when the three persons came and went into her husband’s yard.

“Yes. Ms Morgan called me.” 

“And, is it true that in one of those conversations you told Ms Morgan that your husband was outside with a cutlass making threats?” Daniel said. 

“I never said with a cutlass.”

He put it to Mrs. John that she did say that her husband had a cutlass.  

“I did not.”

Regarding the text message that Mrs. John said Morgan had sent her on April 15, asking why Mrs. John had contradicted her, Daniel asked Mrs. John if she had not said that it was a call.

He pointed her to the statement she gave to the police on Friday, Nov, 12 — day 3 of the trial.

“Do you agree that you told the police that it was a call that you received and not a text message?” Daniel said.

“Here says call but I have the message on my phone, “Mrs.  John said.

Daniel asked her if she had produced that message to the police, and she said no.

“Now, Mrs. John, I am putting it to you that you are afraid of your husband and afraid to tell the full truth,” Daniel said. 

“I am not afraid of my husband. The truth is the truth.”

Daniel put it to Mrs. John that on April 13, she asked Ms Morgan to call the police.

“I did not ask Ms Morgan to call the police.” 

“I am putting it to you that Ms Morgan never said to you he would never mess with another woman.”

“Yes, she said that.”

“I am putting it to you that she never sent you any text on April 15, 2021 telling you anything about you — well, I don’t even know what you are saying — that you contradict her,” the lawyer said. 

“Yes, it exists,” Mrs. John said, and Marks told her, “Well show me it.”

Daniel continued: “I am putting it to you that you knew Ms Morgan was coming down to speak to your husband to have him stop threatening you?”

“That’s not true,” Mrs. John replied.

“I am putting it to you that you are still in fear of your husband and what he may do so you—”

“I am not in fear of my husband,” Mrs. John said.

Daniel’s cross examination of the witness ended at 11:33 p.m. and Marks’ began.

Cornelius John 6
The virtual complainant on his way to court last Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (iWN photo)

John could be ‘best husband, best father’

Marks used the earlier stage of his cross examination to re-establish the relationship between Mrs. John and Morgan.

Regarding her decision to stop at the top gate to the house and send her cousin for the water from Morgan on April 13, Marks said, “You were frightened like cat.”

“I was never been afraid of my husband.”

She told the court there was an incident “long time ago” when Mr. John had broken out the windows of their home. 

“Long time he behaving so?” Marks said.

“Certain things happened. That was years ago. It was not pertaining to this particular incident. That was couple years ago,” Mrs. John said.

She said that she chose to leave the matrimonial home after the incident last December. “The police gave me a choice. ‘You want to stay or you want to leave?’ I chose to leave.”

Asked if Mr. John beat one of their sons with a hammer, Mrs. John said, “Not to my knowing. Anyone would beat his own son with a hammer?”

Marks asked her if Mr. John had beaten one of their sons with a bucket, and Mrs. John laughed. “He didn’t beat him. He just hit him but he didn’t beat him with a bucket.”

Marks put it to Mrs. John that her husband’s course of action —mashing up windows, beating their son— “is what put you in fear of him to this day”.

“I am afraid of my husband? My husband could be the best husband any woman can get, the best father any woman could get. He just has his shortcomings.”

She said she never had any interest in knowing Mr. John’s first wife. 

Mrs. John told the court that when her husband commanded her not to come out the gate, she went to her bed and played Candy Crush —a free-to-play match-three puzzle online game.

“I refused to give him that attention so I went to my bed to play Candy Crush,” Mrs. John said.

The lawyer asked if her husband was still outside cussing.

“When I left, I heard nothing else,” Mrs. John said. 

Mrs John agreed that in her first statement to the police she did not mention a tall guy pushing John down by the shoulder when he was attempting to get up at the house.

The lawyer further asked her why she had said in another statement that Morgan had told her she was coming down the road with the DPP.

“Because the way the DPP dressed in camouflage, I thought it was the police because she called me and said she had called the police,” Mrs. John said.

Marks responded: “Ms John, you really not telling the truth. You made a second statement and a third and a fourth. Let me suggest that in none of those statements did you say you heard your husband cry, ‘Lord you all will kill me’, then heard the shot.”

Mrs. John, however, said that the last statement she made to the police, the officer had told her that she did not have to include that in the statement as she could explain herself in court. 

Marks read from the statement and the prosecutor asked about the utility and Marks said the sequence of events Mrs. John gave in the statements were at variance to what she was telling the court.

“But I understand, she is fearful. Contradiction after contradiction,” Marks said.

Mrs. John said it is true that she did not see when her husband was shot.

She said that after the explosion, people went to Mr. John’s yard but she was not sure who they were. She said that Roshel Franklyn — a neighbour who is an auxiliary police officer — was on her porch watching and went into Mr. John’s yard after the shooting, as did Quammie. 

Nicole John With Cellphone
Nicole John holds a cellular phone in her hand as she leaves the court for the lunceon break last Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (iWN photo)

Text or call?

Marks returned to the text message that Mrs. John had said she had received from Morgan.

He asked her if it was still on her phone, and Mrs. John said yes.

“Show us the text message,” the lawyer said, and the witness said something to the effect that it was hard to go through her phone.

Marks then noted that it was 12:06 p.m., and said, ”Your Honour, I suspect it will take some time to find that non-existent text so I suggest we take the luncheon break now so she would have the whole lunchtime to find that text. 

The court was then adjourned to 1:30 p.m.

When the trial resumed at 1:39 p.m., Mrs, John was recalled to the dock and Marks asked her if she was able to produce the text message. 

She said no. 

“Let me suggest to you the reason is because you are lying,” Marks said.

“I am not lying,” Mrs. John maintained.

Asked about the statements she had given to the police, Mrs. John said, “They were sent to me to ask questions and I gave answers.”

She said that the police read over the statement to her. The lawyer noted that in none of the written statements before the one she gave during the trial did she say that she heard her husband cry out.

“I repeated everything I said to the police. Repeated to them over and over. That is the truth and the whole truth,” Mrs. John said.  

“So, if your husband said he was shot and after he was shot, he said he is a living dead?” Marks said. 

“But he was there. I was not on the exact spot.”

She told the court she had been playing Candy Crush but that after Ms Morgan telephoned saying she was coming down the road, she (Mrs. John) came out onto the porch to see what was going on.

Marks noted to Mrs. John that in answer to Daniel’s question, she had said that when her husband was shot, she did not go on the scene because she had been seen with Morgan that day. 

The lawyer asked Mrs. John to explain this.

“Ms Morgan and I went out together. So I took it to say my husband was mad at Ms Morgan to say that she mashing up the family. I choose to stay away from everything.”

Marks suggested to Mrs. John that she stayed away because she was afraid of her husband.

“I live with my husband for 25 years; I am not afraid of my husband.”

She told the court that she and her husband have been living together for as long as they have been in a relationship. 

“What school you went to?” Marks asked.

“Carapan Secondary at that time.”

“How old were you when you graduate?”

“Nineteen,” Mrs. John said.

“And he was at your graduation?”

“No,” Mrs John responded. 

Regarding her first report to the police on April 14, Marks asked Mrs. John why she made that report if she did not take her husband’s threats seriously.

“My husband threaten me. I think it is my duty to make the report in case anything happen—” she was saying when Marks stopped her, saying she had answered the questions.

Marks put it to Mrs. John that she is terrified of her husband and that is why she stopped at the top gate and sent her cousin for the water on April 13.

She denied that is the case.

“I am putting it to you that the reason why you are telling lies today is because your husband is in here and you are terrified of him,” Marks said. 

“That is not true,” Mrs. John said. 

Marks asked Mrs John if her husband has any nickname.

“I call him Cornie,” she said. 

“But they also call him Bad John?” The lawyer said. 

Prosecutor appealed to the court, saying, ‘Your honour, your honour.”

At 1:59 p.m., Marks said that was the extent of this cross examination and sat down.

The prosecutor said there was no re-examination and the witness stood down at 2 p.m. 

Advertisement 128

Join the Conversation

  1. Avatar Of Lostpet

7 Comments

  1. What will be the outcome if these people got off scott free and John is convicted? I think that there will be civil unrest like SVG has never witnessed and the comrade may be out of power that very day.

    From the words I hear in and about Kingstown is the people have had enough and are on the verge rising up.

    So I appeal to the people to stay calm and not to do anything silly that will put them at risk of the beatings.

    Reply

  2. Avatar Of Nathan Jolly GreenNathan Jolly Green says:

    It does not matter what Mr John did or said to his wife or anyone else no one is entitled to act as vigliantes and trespass on his property or to shoot him. It makes those people a million times worse than anything he may have said or done. There can be no excuse, this matter became politicaly controlled from the moment of that first phone call, you all know the one I refer to.

    John did not shoot himself and the outcome of this case and the finding by the magistrate is suspect to all the people of SVG. Because what happened to John can happen to anyone of us.

    I notice how quiet the Comrade has gone?

    Was the matter of the phone call that the comrade said he recieved from the Morgan woman raised in court. Was she ever asked about that call, why she made it and what she said and what the reply was?
    I doubt it? ASK RALPH

    Reply

  3. No matter how intriguing the news article seems the fact remains that Morgen, Nelson and (Vernon) have been acquitted. The case against John will be dealt with separate as if it has nothing to do with the beating and shooting of John. What a joke people all over the Caribbean must be laughing at SVG justice.

    Reply

  4. Avatar Of Sensible Personsensible person says:

    There should be a penalty for the authorities falsifying statements. This is not the first time the people of Saint Vincent have heard about this. Thank you Kenton for these facts.
    There should be a trial to convict whoever falsifies these statements, WHO DIRECTS PUBLIC SERVANTS TO DO SO, “tampering with evidence” If we do not, these things will be seen as acceptable and just continue!
    This is called corruption!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.