Defendant Joetta Pinkay Abul, the woman accused of allegedly murdering her fiancé Morris N. Johnson, II, during a scuffle early this year has been told by court that she will not be granted a bail but would remain incarcerated until a final verdict is reached.
Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie denied the motion for bail Wednesday, 21 November, stating that defendant Pinky will continue to be in prison until a final verdict is determined in these proceedings.Her lawyer Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson requested that defendant Pinky be bailed because there is no autopsy report to establish cause of death.
Pinkay is indicted for allegedly murdering Mr. Morris N. Johnson, an employee of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) at her home in S.K. D. Sports Complex Community of Paynesville during a night – time scuffle.
Cllr. Johnson argues that there is no autopsy, no fingerprint and no cause of death or criminal agency that links defendant Pinky to the commission of the crime of murder.He disputes prosecution’s account that the wound on Morris’ back was caused by knife, arguing that he may have fallen on a blunt sharp object in the form of something like steel, and insists that there is no eyewitness or fingerprint to show that Pinky stabbed the deceased.
He further says Pinky’s continuous incarceration would have negative impact against her two – year old child that is in the custody of the late Morris’ parents without the accused’s approval.Cllr. Johnson relies mainly on Chapter 13 Section 13.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law and case law of the Supreme Court involving Hans and Mandea Williams vs RL and Zoe Bango Vs RL.
For its part, the prosecution says there are eyewitnesses to testify to the effect that the defendant in the dock caused the altercation that resulted into fist fight, leading to the stabbing of the deceased.Prosecution further says that the coroner jury report … points to the cause of death as the knife used by the defendant in the dock.
In reference to defendant Pinky allegedly wounding the late Morris, Montserrado County Attorney Cllr. Edwin K. Martin’s comment that “She pieced him in the back three sentiment deep” was greeted by tears from the deceased’s relatives in the courtroom including males and females.The family went to Court at the start of the case with a kid in their possession, apparently the two – year old that Pinky’s lawyer Cllr. Johnson have been speaking of.
They became lively when they heard Judge Willie denying the motion for bail, and subsequently denying the defense’s application for the court to wait for at least a day or two to allow the defense file its appeal at the Supreme Court against the decision of the lower court.Upon denying the motion and noting the defense’s exception, defendant Pinky pleaded “not guilty” to the indictment when she was arraigned by the Court, challenging prosecutors to prove her guilty.
Jury selection process has already begun in the case, and will continue on Thursday.In denying the request for bail, Judge Willie relied on a Supreme Court decision to address a question as to whether the defendant charged with capital offense should be placed on bail because there is no eyewitness to attest to the commission of the crime.
According to him, the Supreme Court has opined in 30 LLR Nimely vs Republic that: “ It is not necessary that one actually be seen committing a crime before he or she could be held guilty.”He adds: “But that it is sufficient for that person to be convicted when the logical deductions for the facts and circumstances lead conclusively to the fact that the crime was committed and the accused is connected to the crime.”
The court says the ground of defense that there is no eyewitness to attest that defendant Pinky committed the crime and should therefore be placed on bail will be left with the prosecution to show facts and circumstances beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed this capital offense that is not bailable.
On the issue of lack of autopsy raised by the defense, Judge Willie says an autopsy is done where and when there is doubt as to the cause of death and the prosecution has the burden to show it during trial.He says the burden is on the prosecution to prove during trial that it is the knife that was used by defendant Pinky to commit the crime.
By Winston W. Parley