The holster linked to the gun at the centre of the Mullany/Anderson trial was found in the yard of one of the murder accused, a senior police officer testified Thursday.
Five weeks into the closely-watched trial, Police Superintendent Nuffield Burnett told the court that on at least three occasions he led several search teams at the home of Avie Howell – the younger of the co-accused.
Howell, 20, and Kaniel Martin, 23, are on trial for allegedly killing Welsh couple Benjamin and Dr Catherine Mullany and Woneta Anderson in 2008.
While being questioned by Crown Counsel Adlai Smith, Burnett testified that during one of the searches, the holster was spotted in the yard.
“I showed it to the accused, asked him what it was and cautioned him,” he said.
“He said words to the effect that he had not seen it before and it looks like a cell phone casing,” the officer said.
Burnett was shown a grey holster, reportedly stolen from a Union Estate home, which was tendered as evidence earlier in the trial and he identified it as the one that was seized from the Howell property.
Earlier testimony established the holster was with a Glock .380 pistol that was stolen from the Union Estate home.
But as the prosecution attempted to link the accused to the gun, the defence raised issue with testimony from the woman who admitted to buying Benjamin Mullany’s cellular phone.
Francesca de la Cruz on Wednesday told the court she bought the black and red Nokia for $200. While she could not say specifically who sold it to her, she testified that she later led police to a house where she’d seen him before. It turned out to the home of Kaniel Martin.
Cross-examined by Defence Counsel, Michael Archibald, Burnett testified that de la Cruz was never able to identify the accused in a police line-up.
The police superintendent was also quizzed about the date, time and length of searches by Maureen Payne-Hyman, counsel for Avie Howell.
Burnett told the court about searches conducted on August 13 and 14 when several items where seized. He said that at the time Howell was considered to be a suspect in the Mullany murders.
“We went back to look for phones and other items related to the murder of the Mullanys,” he said.
Other than the holster, he said he found nothing else of significance.
Burnett was among the more than 70 witnesses giving testimony during the high-profile trial.
Thursday’s session also saw testimony from Shermel Ashton- Howell’s brother. He told the court that he was aware his mother owned a phone and that this brother (Howell) used to use it, noting that, “she probably gave it to him.”
The witness disclosed his then phone number to the court and said that police seized the phone that was at the time associated with that number.
Meanwhile, a phone card distributer made a brief appearance to testify that Stephen Christian, Anderson’s partner, on August 6, 2008 bought a quantity of phone cards valued at $845.21. She was shown phone cards that were previously admitted as evidence and examined the serial number before testifying that the number matched that of the invoice for Christian’s purchase.
The trial resumes today.