Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Ludwis Allen Wheatley, a Financial Consultant, testified that he met Yan Edwards and Allen Baptiste at his Groove Hill, East End residence after the shooting death of Keri 'Hank' Harrigan, which police said occurred around 7.00 pm in the area of the Long Look Clinic on March 16, 2011.
Edwards and Baptiste are on trial for Harrigan's killing. Harrigan was shot in the back of the head and chest area.
Today, February 22, Wheatley, who is a witness for the Crown, told the court that he was at his Josiah's Bay restaurant for most of the day into the early evening on March 16, 2011. He said the restaurant closed around 7:00 pm and along with two of his employees, he left the business.
Wheatley said one of the employees lives in Long Look and the other at Hodge's Creek. He said he decided to drop off the female employee who lives in Long Look first. However, as he approached the Long Look area, he observed that police had secured the area and a crowd of persons congregated.
Wheatley, a businessman and former political candidate, said he then parked the vehicle and they went to the area. He spoke of seeing a body, but said he was not aware who it was until he was told.
He stated that he stayed at the scene for some 15 minutes and the female employee went home, while he proceeded to drop home the other employee at Hodge's Creek. He related that it took some 5 minutes from Long Look to Hodge's Creek and then from Hodge's Creek to his home, it took some 8-10 minutes.
Wheatley said when he arrived home, he met Baptiste in the garage area. Wheatley said his parking area was not available since a red SUV which Edwards drove was parked in the area.
According to Wheatley, Baptiste was "cooling out, listening to music" which was coming from the SUV.
He said he spoke to Baptiste and during the general conversation, Baptiste made reference to the young man being shot in the Long Look area and he informed Baptiste that he was aware of the incident.
The witness said that conversation lasted for about five minutes and then he proceeded upstairs and Edwards was inside the room to the far left of the other wing of the house. He said they spoke briefly and Edwards too made reference to the shooting and he also informed him that he was aware.
Wheatley said Edwards left his home around 10:00 pm that night, but he did not see Baptiste again for that night.
Meanwhile, in relation to the April 7, 2011 search warrant carried out at his home by police, Wheatley said the items were found in the same far left room that Edwards would sometimes occupy. He related that he didn't know of any of the items which included a baby stroller, a beach chair, clothing and a boots. He said he could only recall that on one occasion he went into the same room and he saw the same items.
In response to questions by Prosecutor Valston Graham, Wheatley confirmed that he never gave Edwards permission to receive or have deliverd any sort of mail or packages at his home.
Earlier in his testimony, Wheatley stated that his home is a two-storey building and there is a single doorway leading to a small corridor, which leads to two other bedrooms. He said the helper occupied one and technically no one lived in the other one, but Edwards would be there from time to time.
He said he knew both Edwards and Baptiste from the time they were teenagers. He said he had a good relationship with Edwards since he was on his basketball team from the time he was a teen. According Wheatley, Edwards is an intelligent young man, but sometimes he is a bit moody and tends to get hyper.
Prosecutor Graham then asked Wheatley if Edwards has a temper and Edwards' lawyer, Stephen Daniels, interjected and objected to the question, stating that it was a leading one. Daniels also commented that everyone has a temper sometimes.
Graham withdrew the question.
In relation to Baptiste, Wheatley said he is usually jovial and well-mannered.
In response to a question by Graham, Wheatley said he has a very good relationship with the young men in East End. He said young men from his basketball team from the 90's and other young men in the community would frequent his home and he noted that Edwards always had access to his home.
Yesterday, February 21 during the testimony from one of the investigating officers, Detective Sergeant Jason Harford, a video interview conducted by police with Edwards three days following the murder was played.
During the 30 minutes interview conducted on March 19, 2011, Edwards was adamant that the officers were attempting to mislead him and link him to murder.
He stated that around 6:00 pm on the night of the shooting, he went to the home of Allen Wheatley. He said he was watching television and then a little after 7:00 pm, Wheatley came and told him that someone just got shot in Long Look.
Edwards told police that he enquired about the shooting and was informed that Hank was shot. He said he reacted by stating, "I cannot believe they shoot my friend meh boy."
Responding to questions from investigators, Edwards said that he did not go to the scene of the shooting because he would usually stay away from that kind of scene.
"I don't go to those kinds of scenes," Edwards stated during the interview.
When asked if he planned with anyone to kill Harrigan, Edwards replied, "No sir...That's my friend."
At one point during the interview, Edwards wiped his forehead and claimed the room was hot. He alleged that the officers were asking him one question more than once.
"You are trying to mislead me again. I am telling you one thing...Ayo police looking to try to mislead and put me in thing."
Edwards insisted he had nothing to do with Harrigan's killing.
"But I told you that I was at Allen Wheatley's house...I can't assist police with nothing," he said.
He said from Wheatley's home, he went straight home.
Most times during the interview, Edwards remained silent as the officers asked questions.
Edwards also indicated that he didn't give anyone a ride on his way to Wheatley's home and confirmed that he had no visitors at Wheatley's home during the time that he was there.
Meanwhile, Detective Harford said the search warrant which was carried out at the home of Wheatley on April 7, 2011 was done following information provided by various persons, including Vaughn Cameron and Henito Penn.
He said during the search in a room just above the garage, they found a beach chair and a baby stroller. He said the items were seized in the presence of Wheatley. The Detective also related that they found a number of shoes, clothes and a fireman suit. Edwards was a fireman.
The Detective also confirmed that no forensics were done on the items based on a decision by the lead investigating officer.
Under cross examination by Edwards' lawyer, Stephen Daniels, the Detective said the search warrant was in relation to firearms and ammunition, but none was found. He also stated that no firearm or Halloween mask were found on Edwards.
Tearful Mother Recalls Hearing Gunshot That Killed Her Son
Mrs. Besty Donovan, the mother of Harrigan, testified on Wednesday February 20 where she said that her son would usually hang out in the area of the Sticket with other guys, but she never focused on the other males as she would just pass by and wave to her son.
On the night of the murder, Mrs. Donovan said she left home around 7:00 to pick up her husband Roy Donovan at the foul farm. She said she did not drive in the Sticket area, but used another road.
Murder victim, Keri 'Hank' Harrigan
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Mrs. Donovan said she returned home a little after 7:00 and her daughters were in their bedroom and she was sitting on her bed, while Keri's special dog, Max, was howling constantly.
"It was the first time I have ever heard the dog went on like that," the woman related.
She said shortly after she heard what sounded like a gunshot, the phones in the house started to ring. Mrs. Donovan said her husband was in the washroom; hence, she called one of her girlfriends and spoke with her daughters who were at home.
She related that her husband, who went out in relation to the incident after the calls, telephoned her and this was when her life fell apart.
"I fell apart. I started walking to get down and I saw...I went down in the Sticket area where my son body was...It had a lot of people there and a yellow ribbon to protect the area. I observed a white sheet and what appeared to be blood on it. I didn't see him [Keri]; I wanted to but I wasn't allowed," a tearful Mrs. Donovan stated.
Mrs. Donovan said she saw the body of her son at the morgue on March 26 where she had to identify him.
Under cross examination, Mrs. Donovan said that her son was a carpenter and confirmed that he once worked for Eon Phipps, who was his first employer.
The trial continues.