By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN had just bought tobacco products from a local tuck shop before he was shot dead in the Woods Alley area as part of an alleged murder plot two years ago, a Supreme Court jury has heard.
Shop-owner Alban Curry said Kenyari Lightbourne purchased what is locally known as a “grabba leaf”, with plans to return to purchase soda and snacks moments before being shot to death on June 21, 2016.
The shooter, meanwhile, was said to be cordial at the very least, exchanging “good mornings” to at least two residents of Woods Alley while on his way to execute the deceased in cold blood.
And moments before he shot Lightbourne, the gunman was said to have asked the deceased: “How it go?” and “You remember me?”
The revelations were revealed during Daran Neely’s, Jahmaro Edgecombe’s and Sean Brown’s trial before Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson concerning Lightbourne’s death.
On the date in question, Lightbourne was shot multiple times while walking through his neighbourhood off Market Street. He died at the scene.
Neely and Edgecombe aka “Bingy”, the alleged gunman, were arraigned within months of each other in 2016 in connection with Lightbourne’s death. Brown, alias “Fire”, was charged with being an accessory after the fact.
Taking the witness stand before Justice Grant-Thompson, Mr Curry said on the morning of the killing he’d served a few customers before he heard a voice on his porch that he recognised as Lightbourne’s.
Mr Curry said he knew Lightbourne all of his life as he, Lightbourne’s father Deval McKenzie, and the victim’s uncle Richard McKenzie grew up together.
Mr Curry said he opened his front door and began to converse with Lightbourne about him buying tobacco. He said he had just deposited the money he got from selling the tobacco into his wallet, and had put his head down when he heard three “booming sounds” that he recognised as gunshots.
He said when he looked out of his front window, he saw a person running away from his wall. Mr Curry said he didn’t see the person’s face, but said the individual wore a black t-shirt, jeans and a beanie hat. He said the man ran towards the rear of his house before taking a shortcut out of the area that leads to Valley Close.
Mr Curry said he ran from the window, got on the phone and quickly dialed 919. He said when he went to his front wall to see what was happening outside, he noticed that his neighbours were in an “uproar”. He said he subsequently saw Lightbourne on the ground in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds to his head and hand.
Mr Curry said at the time, Lightbourne was “convulsing”, gasping for air and mumbling, and had a lot of blood coming out of his mouth.
Mr Curry rushed back inside and called for an ambulance, however, he said no ambulance came, and Lightbourne died lying on the ground.
Another witness, Lionel Pinder, who was working in the yard opposite Mr Curry’s yard with a woman, Deidre Williams, when Lightbourne and three other males appeared, all of whom he was familiar with.
Mr Pinder said none of the people in the group said anything as they walked by. About five minutes later, another male who he never seen before, who appeared to be following the group, walked past himself and Ms Williams.
Mr Pinder said as the male walked past, he said “good morning”, to which Mr Pinder said both he and Ms Williams responded by saying “good morning” in return. Mr Pinder said the male walked straight in front of the yard, looked left and right, then came back in the yard and asked who in the area sold cigarettes.
Mr Pinder said he and Ms Williams directed the male to Mr Curry’s tuck shop, where he went inside, bought a cigarette and came back to the pair asking for a lighter.
After assisting the male in lighting his cigarettes, Mr Pinder said the male walked back to the front of the yard close to a garbage bin and looked in the direction the group of guys went. Then, Mr Pinder said, the male went in an easterly direction around the house.
Mr Pinder said he became wary of the male’s movements, which he said included him walking around the house and continuously looking down the road, and said he also observed the man had one of his hands in his pocket.
Mr Pinder said he discreetly kept his eyes on the man’s pocketed hand while continuing to rake the yard. As he did so, Lightbourne ended up walking back in their direction, with plans to go to Mr Curry’s store, at the same time the male was standing behind the garbage bin.
Mr Pinder said while raking, he heard the male who had asked him for a lighter say to Lightbourne: “You remember me? How it go, how it go? You remember me?” Mr Pinder said at the same time as he heard those words, he turned around, but as soon as he did so, he heard a gunshot.
Mr Pinder said when he looked towards where he heard the gunshot, he saw Lightbourne holding up his hand trying to protect his head and face. Mr Pinder said he heard a second shot, prompting him to run inside for safety.
Mr Pinder said as his back was turned, he heard two more gunshots. He said he locked his door behind him and stood against a concrete wall, meanwhile, the male from earlier walked past and went through a shortcut.
Mr Pinder said the male was wearing a black beanie, Oakley shades, a black shirt and long, black jeans. He said his hands were always in his pockets.
The matter continues.
Neely is represented by Wayne Munroe, QC and Jomo Campbell, David Cash represents Edgecombe, and Nathan Smith represents Sean Brown.
Racquel Whyms and Al-Leecia Delancy represent the Crown.