Castle Bruce man awaits verdict on death of Gerald Joseph

Deceased Gerald Joseph

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.”

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10 Comments

  1. December 25, 2019

    Hello and good morning my people. Mr Joseph you took a human life because you failed to walk away or take a few seconds to analyze the situation and make the right decision by walking away. I think you should be held accountable and be convicted of Murder 2nd Degree,Weapon possession. Our society cannot just accept your excuse and I hope your learn a skill while incarcerated. My condolences is with the victim and his family.

  2. Really!!
    December 21, 2019

    So he had a knife in his possession to cut cane? At what time in the night he was going to cut cane there? Is so a mal bo… kill my nephew and say he had the knife to cut coconut. Big night is when all farmers outside!! Self defense my …. Dominican young men too like to arm themselves. They always innocently have a knife on them. I don’t care if he fall on it, you caused his death! Learn to leave the weapons at home. By the way, where your daway you was going to cut the cane there? Sakway sot!!

  3. December 19, 2019

    I think that if I am innocent of any accuse of wrongdoing, I would be able to defend myself, so help me God, instead of spending 3 years in jail, waiting for a verdict for the rest of my life, wee.

    But he said that he ran home, seemed a lot like he left something critical behind, wee?

    I don’t see why he would be found not guilty, because he did not speak the truth and nothing but the truth–self-defense or not–for the truth would set him free, even without that 3 years of incarceration.

  4. Kalinago Justice
    December 19, 2019

    Why is it that liars (lawyers) always want to see criminals on the loose :?:

  5. Dominican
    December 19, 2019

    We must leave the verdict to the jury, of course. However, what does trouble me immensely is the fact that an apparent straight forward case like this, where the accused handed himself in to the police, the day after the incident, has taken three years to be heard. Justice has a habit of growing stale in Dominica and that can not be condoned. It is injurous to al parties.

    • December 19, 2019

      It is injurous? How come that word has a bright red underscore on my computer, indicating that it is spelled wrong? And as I click on it I get the right spelling which is “injurious”

      Okay. But would it not be better for you to use “injustice”? We are speaking about the principles of Law and Order, here

      • Pipo
        December 21, 2019

        You know nothing about the principles of law and order but want to be the principal of law and order instead defending your hero, the PM, the biggest alleged transgressor in our time who is lauded by the head of our local catholic church. Something wrong, something upside down in our country.

    • Ibo France
      December 20, 2019

      Everything in Dominica has gone south for the last twenty years and that’s irrefutable . The economy, crime, justice, healthcare, jobs, wages, salaries, electoral evenness, agriculture, physical planning, governance, civil service, et cetera. Even the justice system has not been spared from the decay that is so prevalent throughout this country. Skerrit wins elections by shady means but the country does not succeed. Dominica is a colossal embarrassment to the entire Caribbean region for its corruption and economic and infrastructural retardation.

      • Exasperated
        December 21, 2019

        So leave for pastures new and sell your house to me. What the flowertopmary has your response to do with the fate of this poor guy? smh!

        • Toto
          December 23, 2019

          So many houses for sale already in Dominica, people leaving the country but nobody have the money to buy them, only Ali Baba and his gang.

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