The Gleaner

Witness, defence lawyer clash during Shineka Gray murder trial

Christopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

THERE WERE testy exchanges between the defence attorney for Gregory Roberts, the man on trial for the 2017 murder of schoolgirl Shineka Gray, and the prosecution’s fourth witness on Tuesday.

The witness was undergoing crossexamination from defence lawyer Chumu Parris on Tuesday as the trial continued in the St James Circuit Court.

The witness had previously testified that Roberts had shown him a video of himself, Roberts, stabbing the 15-year-old Green Pond High School student on January 29, 2017, three days before her body was found in Irwin, St James.

However, during Tuesday’s crossexamination, Parris sought to poke holes in the witness’ testimony, citing inconsistencies between his prior statements to the police and his current evidence-in-chief.

“When was the first time you saw the missing girl from your statement?” asked Parris, referencing the witness’ previous testimony about seeing a missing persons report for Gray.

“In the street, on a lightpost,” the witness answered.

“I suggest that there is no mention of a lightpost in your statement. Would you agree that you never mentioned anything about a lightpost in your statement?” asked Parris.

“I do not agree; I do not remember that part,” the witness rebutted.

“Mr Gregory [Roberts] never said anything to you about being a killer, and he never said anything about being in any video. I am suggesting to you that Mr Roberts did not have any blood on him,” Parris insisted.

“I saw blood on his grey merino and on his hands, and he asked for water to wash his hands,” the witness replied defiantly.

Parris also accused the witness of having been an accomplice for Roberts when both men were previously in police custody in 2015, a claim that the witness stoutly denied.

“In 2015, you saw Gregory and took him to another location, and you always carried food to where he was. Let me put it to you straightforward that Mr Gregory Roberts, in 2015, escaped custody and you assisted him in keeping him safe … . You have given this story to get back at Mr Roberts,” said Parris.

“I cannot recall that. I don’t know what you are talking about,” the witness shot back.

Under re-examination by lead prosecutor Andrea Martin-Swaby, the witness clarified that he had been in custody in 2015 due to child maintenance issues.

The trial continues on Wednesday. Roberts and another man, Mario Morrison, were arrested and charged with Gray’s murder after the schoolgirl’s body was found with stab wounds in bushes in Irwin, St James, on February 1, 2017. Morrison pleaded guilty in September 2022 and was sentenced one month later to life imprisonment, leaving Roberts as the sole remaining defendant.

In addition to the latest civilian witness, Gray’s father and aunt were the first to testify on November 23, while her mother gave testimony on Monday. A total of 18 witnesses are expected to testify for the prosecution.





Gleaner Company