Instead of freedom for Anthony Morrison—given that a jury for the third time around has been unable to arrive at a verdict in the case against him for the alleged murder of his reputed wife, the man now faces more time behind bars, owing to his attorney Maxwell McKay’s failure to inform the court that he had already faced two previous trials which ended in hung juries.
After about three hours of deliberations yesterday by the jury which was hearing Morrison’s third trial for the capital indictment, the forewoman reported to the court that the panel was unable to arrive at a verdict.
She announced that they were divided in a proportion of nine in favour of the man’s guilt and three for his acquittal.
Asked whether the jury required more time for further deliberations, the forewoman explained to Justice Sandil Kissoon that that would not be necessary since they had gone through extensive discussions but just could not arrive at a consensus.
The trial judge then informed Morrison that in those circumstances, he would be remanded to prison to await another trial.
The Marshall thereafter sounded the order for the court to rise and the judge subsequently left the bench.
During the time all this was happening, however, a visibly perplexed McKay remained seated at the bar table, not rising at any point to inform the court that it had been his client’s third, and what would qualify in law as his final trial for the indictment.
The attorney then motioned three of his fingers to the judge’s registrar, but by this time the judge was himself almost out the door. Still, no attempts were made by the attorney to directly get the judge’s attention.
By then, the judge was completely out of the courtroom, headed for his chambers.
Looking at his attorney in sheer disbelief, a visibly upset Morrison was then escorted to the prisoner’s holding cell of the Georgetown High Court to await his vehicle escort back to prison.
Leading his defence at the close of the prosecution’s case on Tuesday, Morrison professed his innocence, stating that he himself wanted to know who had killed his reputed wife—Donna Thomas.
In unsworn testimony from the prisoner’s dock, he told the court that Thomas had been embroiled in an argument with the landlord on the morning of May 25, 2012 over a missing bucket.
According to him he heard the property owner threatening to “juk and chop her.”
He said he left their Lot 65 D’Urban Street, Georgetown home later that day and upon his return the following morning, persons were enquiring from him whether he knew that his wife had been killed.
Morrison said he responded in the affirmative, while noting that he too wanted to know “who did it.”
The state’s case was led by Prosecutor Mandel Moore, in association with Lisa Cave.
In his testimony, Detective Jason Kyte had said that the accused had admitted to cutting the woman on her hand, but said he did not expect her to die.
The witness told the court that after putting the allegation to the man and cautioning him, he said “I was going out. She din want me to leave. I had a knife and I cut she on she right hand. I din know that woulda happen to she.”
The state had contended that the statement was freely and voluntarily made.
Morrison had, however, deny ever making the statement, adding that was beaten by the police.
The charge against the man stated that he murdered Thomas at their home between May 25th and May 26th, 2012.