Rodman Moses Lewis Now in its fourth week at the High Court, the Prosecutionâs case in the murder trial of Rodman Moses Lewis is nearing its end.
Lewis is charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend and child’s mother Tricia Riviere, at her home in Stockfarm on November 3, 2015.
The matter which is being tried before a five man, four woman jury with Presiding Judge, Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts, continued this week– October 26– with the court ruling for the deposition of Dr. Talma Alexander-Henry, who is no longer within this jurisdiction, to be read.
State Attorney, Sherma Dalrymple, who is leading the Prosecutionâs case, called four witnesses to the stand to testify that Dr. Alexander-Henry had left the island.
The first of these witnesses was Police Constable, Johnson Bannis, attached to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who told the Court that on September 20, 2020, he prepared a High Court summons for Dr. Alexander-Henry and his subsequent attempt to locate her proved futile.
Another police officer, Constable Paul Joseph, who is attached to the Immigration Department at the Douglas-Charles Airport, provided documentary evidence to the Court of the medical doctor leaving the island on January 7, 2020. This information was corroborated by Hans Craig Henry, the husband of the witness.
The following day, Elizabeth George, a Clerk at Magistrate’s Court read the deposition to the court.
Another State witness, Constable Anslem Austrie, who was at the time of the murder, attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) testified that on November 4, 2015, about 11:20 a.m., he was on duty when the accused was brought in for an interview.
Shortly after, Rodman’s attorney, Anthony Commodore, arrived and Rodman and Commodore were allowed to hold a private conversation, Austrie said.
According to the officer, at the end of the conversation, then Corporal Chaucer James took the accused to a room with his attorney and told him that he, James, was conducting investigations into the death of Tricia Riviere.
The interview started at 11:35 p.m. and ended at 2:05 p.m. and Austrie said he wrote the questions and answers on a sheet of paper which the accused later signed and dated.
In the interview notes which were read to the court, Rodman describes his and Riviereâs relationship as “normal” and said on the day-in-question, they were arguing about their child and their relationship.
Austrie also reported that the accused stated that the deceased was not violent but she had a little “aggression” and it was the first time he raised his hands on her because, “she was not the type to stay in an abusive relationship.”
When asked how he felt after he had committed the alleged crime Lewis responded, “I felt depressed, panicked and shocked. I go and sit down on the chair. I didn’t know what to do.”
During the same interview, the question was posed, “Why did you hit Tricia with the cylinder when she appeared dead?”, and Austrie recorded Lewis as saying that he had done that because “I saw her turning and I was in rage.”
Austrie told the court that later that same day, he accompanied Corporal James, the accused and his attorney along with other police officers to the crime scene where Lewis was further questioned and revealed that during his altercation with Riviere, she swung and struck him twice so he leaned back and kicked her which caused her to fall to the ground.
On October 28, former police officer, Robertson Laurent, took to the witness stand. He stated that at the time, he was the Authorising Officer attached to the CID and observed the interview which was conducted by officer James assisted by officer Austrie, with the accused in the presence of his attorney.
Investigating Officer, Sergeant James, in his testimony said on November 3, 2015 at 4:40 p.m., while at the CID, a report of a murder was referred to him for investigation and he proceeded to Stockfarm.
He said on entering the home of the deceased, he saw police officers Roy Pascal and Naford Joseph standing in the living room. James said the accused was sitting on a chair in the same area and the mother of the deceased, Megan Scotland, was sitting in another chair facing Rodman.
James said Rodman looked at him and smiled then said, “My partner is me you come for.”
“I asked him why he told me I had come for him and I cautioned him and he replied, “for Tricia.” I asked him what was wrong with Tricia but he did not respond,” Sergeant James told the court.
He said he asked the accused to accompany him to the kitchen where the body of the deceased was but Rodman declined and he proceeded on his own where he met Tricia in a motionless position on the floor. He checked for a pulse but there was none.
Sergeant James later stated at about 5:28 p.m., Dr. Lynora Fevrier Drigo arrived on the scene. He said they had a conversation during which she provided him with some information and then she left. James stated he then informed the accused that he was being arrested on suspicion of murder and handed him over to two police officers who transported him to Police Headquarters.
At 5:40 p.m., Inspector George Theophile of the Crime Scene Unit arrived and processed the scene and about 7:00 p.m., personnel of the Lyndhurst Funeral Home placed the body on their vehicle enroute to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) where the body was examined and officially pronounced dead by Dr. Randy Fabien.
Sergeant James said after he had escorted the body to the funeral home, he then met the accused at the cells at Police Headquarters who informed him that he had sustained injuries to the heel of his right foot.
Lewis was transported to the Accident and Emergency Department of the PMH where he was examined by Dr. Alexander-Henry and later placed back in police cells.
The following day – November 4, 2015– James told the court about the interview and visit to the scene which constable Austrie had spoken of.
James said an electronic interview was later conducted at 2:35 p.m. during which he showed the accused two liquid gas cylinders and Rodman pointed to one and stated, “That one I hit Tricia with.”
He said that a charge of murder was preferred against Lewis that day.
The police sergeant recounted his visit to the morgue on November 10, along with the brother of the deceased, Daniel Riviere, where the body was identified by Riviere and a post mortem was performed.
The matter has since been adjourned to November 2, 2020, where Sergeant James is expected to continue giving his evidence to the court.
LINK ORIGINAL: Dominica News Online