By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
SURVEILLANCE footage played in court showed a prosecutor angrily advancing towards a young man he claimed had told others to shoot and stab him because of his role in having one of the man's friends convicted of a crime.
The footage played before magistrate Kara Turnquest-Deveaux showed Joel Seymour charging towards Daltino Thurston because he allegedly took exception to Mr Seymour being the lead prosecutor in Javon Rolle's criminal trial.
The video shows Mr Seymour gunning after Thurston, who backs off to avoid the prosecutor's advances, but not before another man, said to be Thurston's younger brother George Rahming, swiftly strikes Mr Seymour once in the head.
The video was shown moments before Mr Seymour admitted he was angry when he went after Thurston, an altercation that came after he claimed he and Thurston exchanged blows over the young man's alleged words.
However, that initial altercation, which took place near K-Souse on Baillou Hill Road and Palmetto Street, which is owned by Mr Seymour's cousin, was not captured by the security camera stationed on Thurston's mother's house.
The footage was played moments before Thurston's attorney, Ramona Farquharson-Seymour, suggested it was foolish for Mr Seymour to have gone after a man whom he claimed had just asked other people to shoot and stab him.
As evidenced by the video, and as suggested by Mrs Farquharson-Seymour, Mr Seymour would not have sustained the injury that goes to the heart of the charge against Rahming had he instead gone to the police.
To that, Mr Seymour said: "… At the end of the day, I'm human as well."
Thurston and Rahming are on trial over allegations the pair both attacked and injured Mr Seymour on January 5, 2019.
The pair also face obstruction of justice charges. Rahming is accused of injuring Mr Seymour while Thurston is accused of attempting to intimidate, and commit violence against the prosecutor.
Both men have denied the charges.
According to the evidence led at trial, the incident in question technically has its origins in an armed robbery trial against Rolle before Justice Renae McKay that Mr Seymour successfully prosecuted in December 2018.
Thurston was Rolle's alibi witness during the trial in December, and was also good friends with Rolle, who was at the time engaged to one of Thurston's cousins.
On January 5, 2019, Mr Seymour went to K-Souse. While there, he encountered Thurston, whom he claimed made threatening remarks indicative of his contempt towards him for successfully prosecuting Rolle's matter.
According to Mr Seymour, Thurston said things like "ya boy there is a prosecutor, he's the one who send Javon to jail" and that he (Thurston) should go "deal with him now". Mr Seymour also claimed Thurston told another male to stab him.
Mr Seymour claimed the two ultimately grabbed each other by the other's collar and exchanged blows before being separated by onlookers. Mr Seymour was sent to the "front" of K-Souse, while Thurston was sent to the rear of the establishment opposite his mother's house.
Sometime later, when Mr Seymour went to his truck--which was parked on Palmetto Street--to leave, he said he heard Thurston telling people things like "Yeah bey, ya boy is a prosecutor. He must be ain't know where he is, aye? It's killing season", and "police and prosecutors could get it too".
The breaking point for Mr Seymour was when Thurston started pointing out his truck to the other men.
Essentially marking his truck made him not only afraid but upset. As a result, Mr Seymour said he approached Thurston, albeit angrily, with a view to getting him to stop what he was doing. However, he said before he could get the words out of his mouth, he felt a sudden blow to the left side of his head.
Mr Seymour said he doesn't know what him, but he felt metal when he was struck. He said as he stumbled backwards, he looked up and realised it was Rahming, donned in a beanie, who had hit him.
Mr Seymour claims Rahming stabbed him in the head with a knife he claimed the young man could be seen closing and securing on the video. However, the wound he sustained was deemed a "minor" one by emergency room physician Dr Leonardo Rahming, and one that didn't even require stitches.
That second altercation was captured on the surveillance footage and played in court for the magistrate to see. It shows Thurston, Rahming, and about four other males standing in the road opposite their mother's house. Their mother, Lavita Thurston, could also be standing in the road not too far from the group, her back to the camera.
At around the 3.25 mark, Mr Seymour could be seen coming from off-frame towards Thurston, who backs up as he approaches. Before Mr Seymour could get within an arm's length of Thurston, Rahming suddenly decks him in the left side of the head, apparently startling the prosecutor, who staggers and holds his left hand up in defence after the fact.
Mr Seymour then clasps the left side of his head and backpedals away from the group and out of the frame. Mr Seymour claimed that while doing just that, he heard Thurston say, "Shoot him, shoot him!"
During the latest trial proceedings, Mrs Farquharson-Seymour questioned why Mr Seymour, after knowing the volatility of the situation, and hearing the things he claims Thurston said, didn't just leave the area from the onset and report the matter to the nearest police station.
Mrs Farquharson-Seymour subsequently submitted that the reason he opted not to go to the police was because he "forgot" his "office" and who he was on that night. As such, she asserted that Mr Seymour's decision to approach Thurston was "inappropriate".
However, Mr Seymour refuted her assertions, insisting: "At the end of the day, I'm human as well."
He further noted that if Thurston or anyone else had threatened him, he could "deal with that". However, he said he takes exception to anyone pointing out his truck, which he said he uses to transport his daughter, niece, and "all kind of different" people close to him.
"If you have a problem with me, deal with me," he said. "Don't point out my vehicle for other persons to come and shoot at my vehicle. I have to be upset."
The matter continues.