By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A prosecutor yesterday urged jurors to convict two women accused of murdering teenage mother Breanna Mackey two years ago, asserting the pair valued rolling with their "crew" above distancing themselves from the girl's attackers.
Attorney Cassie Bethel told jurors both Zaria Burrows and Dervinique Edwards are just as guilty of murdering the 19-year-old as her attackers, as neither of them did anything to "withdraw" themselves from the January 2018 savagery.
Concerning Burrows, Ms Bethel said she "facilitated" Mackey's death in that she not only drove Mackey's attackers both to and from the scene, she also ensured they "were able to catch up with" and swarm the deceased.
And concerning Edwards, Ms Bethel said even though she told the investigating officer, "I feel for Breanna people, I just want them know," such a statement does not marry with the fact that she still left the scene with her friends.
And, Ms Bethel said if Edwards played no part in the attack and was so caught off guard as she claims she was, she wouldn't have gone for drinks with Mackey's attackers not too long afterwards.
"Didn't call for help, didn't get any assistance, didn't go to the police. They went for drinks," Ms Bethel said.
The submissions were made during Ms Bethel's closing address to the jury during the pair's trial over allegations they murdered Mackey on January 25, 2018. According to the evidence, Mackey was killed because five girls wanted her to pay for a broken $80 Huawei cellphone that belonged to one of them.
According to the record of interviews of both women, conducted two days after the incident, Burrows was driving her car in the area of Key West Street with Williams, Edwards, Davanya Lawes, Yolika Domesle, aka "Gabby", and Matia Sylverain as passengers.
Edwards said when Williams spotted Mackey, she started saying: "See Breanna, see Breanna on the corner," before asking Edwards to open the car door and let her out. Edwards said her door wouldn't open, so Williams got out by the door on the opposite side.
Domesle, who was seated in the front passenger seat, then got out of the vehicle and threw a bottle at Mackey, which hit her in her face. Burrows said after that, Mackey's older sister, Nafetera Brown, consequently told her sister to run, which she did. Williams and the others gave chase.
Burrows said Mackey ended up running in a yard. While fleeing, Mackey slipped and fell in some mud, according to Burrows. Williams then grabbed her by the head.
Edwards, in her interview, said she saw when Williams "snatched" Mackey, and said she thought she was punching the victim. However, she said when Williams drew back her hand, she realised she was brandishing a knife.
When asked how many times she saw Williams stab Mackey, Edwards replied: "All I know is a lot, I couldn't keep up."
While that was happening, Sylverain was kicking Mackey, while Lawes was running in the road as if she was making a beeline for Mackey. However, Williams had since stabbed Mackey, and so Lawes ran back to Burrows' car.
The other girls eventually made their way to the car, which was when Burrows realised Williams had a knife on her the entire time. After Williams drew all of their attention to the bloody weapon, Burrows consequently ordered her to throw the knife out of her car. Burrows then dropped the girls off at their respective homes.
Edwards, however, said she did not stay home after the incident, and went "riding out Gambier" with Burrows, Williams, Domesle, Lawes, and Sylverain after the incident. Burrows meanwhile, said after the incident, she picked up her girlfriend and went "riding looking for something to eat". It was only when she dropped her girlfriend off that she discovered that Mackey had died.
Burrows' and Edwards' attorneys, Dervard Francis and Eleanor Albury respectively, in their closing addresses, both asserted that from an evidential standpoint, none of their clients attacked nor murdered Mackey. And neither were they party to any "plan" to murder the teenager. Mr Francis asserted that Williams acted "unilaterally and on her own" in killing Mackey because, in her mind, "she had a point to prove".
However, Ms Bethel yesterday accused Burrows in particular of being the facilitator of the attack.
Ms Bethel said based on the evidence, Burrows used her silver Honda vehicle to chase after Mackey; effectively cornered the deceased in a yard by parking across the entrance; waited while Mackey was attacked and then sped off once all of the girls had got back in the car.
Ms Bethel asked the jury: "What in her actions would lead you to believe that everything that happened caught her off guard?"
Concerning Edwards, Ms Bethel said if she maintains she took no part in the attack -- her attorney asserts she was only in the car for a ride to the store nearby -- she had multiple opportunities to ease her way out of the situation, but didn't.
The first was while Mackey was being attacked, and then after, Ms Bethel said.
However, Ms Bethel said the icing on the cake was how, when a police officer went to Morris Guest House in the Chippingham area, he discovered Edwards "clutched together tightly" in a bathtub with the four other women who attacked Mackey.
"If that is not a crew, if that is not a joint enterprise, if all of that is not a common design, then I can't tell you what is," Ms Bethel charged.
The matter continues on Monday.