Al Capone Trial Continues
Six lawyers. One judge. Nine civilians. They met last week for the trial of the most gruesome killing in Dominica's post-independence history.
The trial of Edward "Al Capone" Green of Morne Daniel for the murder of Damian Dorival of Roseau on Wednesday June 11, 2008 continues today June 24. The court has listened to three days of testimony before trial judge Justice Birnie Stephenson and a jury panel of four men and five women at the Roseau High Court.
Trinidad & Tobago's Keith Scotland leads the prosecution with assistance from State Attorneys Sherma Dalrymple and Arthlyn Nesty. Peter Alleyne leads the defence with the support of lawyers Darius Jones and Vincia Auguiste.
Attorney Scotland called four of the State's 17 witnesses on Monday, June 7, 2013, the opening day of the trial.
Michael Bunche who worked with a car rental company back in 2008 told the court that he knew the deceased, who was a regular customer of the rental company where he worked. He remembered Tuesday June 10, 2008 about 11:03am when the deceased visited the rental company. Dorival paid the deposit and rental fee in cash for one day and drove off with a blue Suzuki Giminy TF147, and to return one day later on Wednesday June 11 about the same time. The vehicle was not returned as scheduled because the renter called in for an extension of one day.
The rental company put in a called Dorival when the return time was approaching, but got no answer. Instead, a call came from another source so that Bunche went to the police compound at Morne Bruce where he recognised the vehicle he had rented out to Dorival on Tuesday June 10, 2008. Bunche was in the company of police officer Duke Severin of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Acting Police Inspector Alick Matthew of CID next testified. He was responsible from 2001 to 2007 for maintaining and updating of firearms licence holders and dealers register at the Police Headquarters in Roseau.
Matthew told the court that he dealt with an application for the holder of a firearm in the name of Edward Green on June 18, 2007. The applicant comes to CID for the application form and that form is filled in with the name and address, occupation and brief description of property of the applicant. The form also provides for the kind of firearm, caliber, make and serial number. The applicant must also be over 18 years. A photograph of the applicant is also attached to the application form. The applicant is interviewed; the registering officer does a background check, and then attaches his recommendation to the application form which is then sent to the Chief of Police for approval. If approved, the Chief of Police sends it back to the office of the registering officer who will contact the applicant by phone of the Commissioner's decision.
The person is required to visit the CID for a letter addressed to the Comptroller of Inland Revenue where he pays the license fee of $200, as obtained in 2008. The firearm is licensed from April 1 each year to March 31 of the following year.
The person returns to CID with the receipt and the registering officer enters the date in his register and then escorts the applicant to the Police Storeroom where the particular firearm is issued.
After seeking and getting permission to refresh his memory, Matthew told the court the firearm was rifle .22 calibre Remington Serial Number 2276647. And he would be able to identify the firearm with that information.
On Friday March 18, 2010, Inspector Robertson Laurent had a conversation with Inspector Matthew and handed Matthew a silver (chrome) and black rifle bearing the registration number and description and dates matching the firearm applied for by Green in 2007.
Cross examined by Alleyne, Matthew said it was the first and only application he could remember from Green.
Ernest Nesty, a metal fabricator rented a two-bedroom apartment in Daniel Green's building at Morne Daniel back in May-June 2008. Dorival lived in the apartment above that of Nesty, while Edward Green and his family of three children lived in the apartment below. Nesty said he witnessed exchanges between Green and his tenant, Dorival, about rent money. Towards the end of May in 2008 sometime after lunch, Nesty was on his way to his workshop when he saw the accused witting on his balcony with a rifle in his hand. Green was angry. He discharged a bullet in the air.
"He told me of an incident he had with Dorival and that Dorival had assaulted him with a piece of wood," he said. "I was sympathetic to Mr Green's circumstance. I told him he had a nice gun, but I had to go. I jumped in my jeep and left.
"On 12th June about 11:30pm to 12 midnight I was in my apartment watching the news on CNN. I first heard one shot, and shortly after I heard another. A few minutes after, a son of the accused called Pino came and knocked on my door. I opened for him. He was shaken up and nervous. Pino spoke to me. I closed the door and turned off the lights. I went in the bedroom and spoke to my fiancée, and we went to bed".
In the morning, his girlfriend prepared a breakfast and Nesty decided to have a look around. He met Deon, another son of the accused, who was on his way to Roseau. "I gave him a lift to town. Deon has no legs and moves around in a wheelchair," he said.
Nesty dropped Deon at the Roseau Police Station. He returned to the police station to the criminal investigation department where he met Pino, his mother, the accused and Inspector Laurent. The police asked him questions related to the circumstance that took place, the alleged murder.