Lester Roberts, of Castle Bruce, who is charged with the murder of Gerald Joseph in December 2016, is expected to know his fate on December 20, 2019.
High court Judge Wynantte Adrien-Roberts is expected to sum up the case and then give final directions to the nine-member jury who will then retire and deliberate on the fate of Roberts.
The prosecution’s case which is led by Trinidadian lawyer, Keith Scotland, is that on Thursday, the 1st of December 2016, 22-year old Gerald Joseph was stabbed to death with a “butterfly knife” by Roberts.
In his unsworn statement from the prisoner dock, Roberts said that he saw Gerald Joseph, his brother Chewi Joseph and another individual sitting on a wall.
“Gerald approached me. He was about to tell me something but I told him that I didn’t want to hear. He hit me in my chest and tried to push me over the wall, Chewi rushed at me…I almost fell over the 20-foot wall, I push him away; it didn’t work,” Roberts said.
He said he swung his hand and brushed him [Joseph] and then left for his home. He stated that the next day he got a call saying that Joseph had died and as a result, he reported to the Castle Bruce Police Station at about 10 am on December 2.
He called no witnesses to his defense.
Keith Scotland, in his address to the 3 men, 6 woman jury, called on them to “use their common sense in deciding on the case.”
“It is clear one person was armed. Castle Bruce is a small community; the prosecution is saying to you that Lester Roberts was armed with the butterfly knife and planted it in the chest of Gerald Joseph,” Scotland said.
Roberts’ defense is that of self-defense but Scotland told the jury to disregard any issue of self-defense.
“We have the butterfly knife that the accused (Lester Roberts) had. He has said nothing to you about that in his statement from the dock,” he said.
He also pointed out that a statement that Roberts gave to the police after the incident said that he stabbed Joseph once while the evidence of Dr. Velda Wade and that of the pathologist shows “two stab wounds inflicted by a sharp object.”
“The doctor and pathologist told you the wounds were inflicted with a lot of force…when he (Lester Roberts) ran the butterfly knife was in the chest of Gerald Joseph. The prosecution has presented you with enough evidence to make you sure that Lester Roberts is guilty of murder,” Scotland told the jury.
However, defense counsel, Peter Alleyne, told the jury “the case is not a very difficult case. It is clear that Lester Roberts was attacked and had to defend himself. Everything happened quick, quick, quick. He was almost pushed over a 20-foot wall,” Alleyne said.
Alleyne said the knife which it is alleged was used by Lester Roberts was in his possession to cut cane.
“No witness said he (Roberts) was a violent person. He had the knife for a legitimate reason and he swung the knife and ran home,” Alleyne argued.
He asked the jury to return a verdict of “not guilty.”