One of the few cases that had a very speedy verdict maybe due to his star status as a television psychic but not he saw that coming it seems in June 2006.
A HOME Circuit Court jury deliberated for four hours on June 25 before convicting 26-year-old Christopher Dixon, upholsterer, of Seaview Gardens, Kingston 11 of the murder of 29-year-old psychic, Safa Asuntuwa.
The jury's long deliberation resulted in the members being recalled by Mr. Justice McIntosh after three and a half hours to ascertain how they could have taken so long in a case in which the issues were very "clear and straightforward".
Dixon will be sentenced on Friday to life imprisonment for non-capital murder. The judge, in sentencing Dixon will recommend how many years he should serve before he can be eligible for parole.
The jurors, after deliberating for three and a half hours, were summoned by Justice McIntosh who asked them if they had arrived at a unanimous verdict.
On being told "No" by the foreman the judge said "If we can't get you 12 people who listen to the same evidence which in my view does not need a rocket scientist to understand, then we are really wasting time with a jury system because clearly it must mean that you don't understand yourself or the evidence."
Commenting further the judge said, "I have been at pains to explain to you in very simple language what your functions are and how to go about them. I don't know what you are having a difficulty with because you have a duty and that is a sworn duty which you have to return a verdict according to the evidence.
After telling the jurors that if they did not believe the witnesses for the prosecution or had doubt on the prosecutions case, they should acquit Dixon, the judge also told them that it was their time and they could take all day if they wanted.
"I am paid to be here, but certainly we can't have a jury system where we have a simple issue and you can't make up your mind," the judge added.
After being sent out by the judge to take as long as they wanted, the jury deliberated for another 25 minutes and returned with a unanimous verdict of guilty of non-capital murder.
Lorraine Smith, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, and Diahann Gordon, Crown Counsel, led evidence at the trial which began last week Monday that Asuntuwa was beaten to death between June 24 and 25 last year. His body was found in a gully off the Cavaliers main road, St. Andrew, about 10.30 a.m. on June 25 last year.
It was alleged at the trial that that Dixon and another man were the last to have seen Asuntuwa alive.
Michael Thompson, a cousin of the deceased, testified last week that about 5.15 p.m. on June 24 last year he saw Dixon and another man at Asuntuwa's house, Mount Joy, St. Andrew. He said he went out and, when he returned about 11.30 p.m. that same day, he saw the deceased's black Honda Civic motor car being driven by Dixon's friend with Dixon in the front passenger seat.
Detective Inspector Altemorth Campbell testified that he received a report and on June 25 last year he went with other policemen to Stony Hill Road, St. Andrew, near to Asuntuwa's house at Mount Joy, where they saw his motor car. The car was later taken to the Constant Spring Police Station. Mr. Campbell said the police next went to Seaview Gardens on June 25 where he saw Dixon who was taken into custody. He said Dixon admitted that he and his brethren had beaten and stabbed Asuntuwa.
also see the Observer's take on it
published: Friday | June 20, 2003 Gleaner
THE TRIAL of 25-year-old Christopher Dixon, upholsterer, of Seaview Gardens, Kingston 11, who is charged with the murder of 28-year-old self-proclaimed psychic, Safa Asuntuwa, continues in the Home Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Asuntuwa's body was found with several stab wounds in a gully along the Cavaliers main road, in rural St. Andrew, at about 10.30 a.m. on June 25, last year.
Lorraine Smith, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, and Diahann Gordon, Crown Counsel, are leading evidence that Asuntuwa was severely beaten and then stabbed several times.
The Crown is alleging that Asuntuwa was murdered sometime between June 24 and 25 and his body dumped in a gully along the Cavaliers main road, in rural St. Andrew. It is further alleged that Dixon and another man were the last to have seen Asuntuwa alive.
Michael Thompson testified on Monday and Wednesday, before Mr. Justice McIntosh and the 12-member jury, that on June 24 last year he saw Dixon and another man at Safa's house, Mount Joy, St. Andrew. He said he went out and, when he returned about 11.30 p.m. that same day, he saw Asuntuwa's black Honda Civic motor car being driven in the direction of Asuntuwa's house. He said the car went into the driveway, spun around and came towards him at a great speed. He said he had to jump on the bonnet of the car to avoid being hit.
Thompson said he jumped off the car, ran down a cliff and went to a neighbour's house. He asked the neighbour to call the police. When the police arrived, he said he made a report. While he was on the bonnet of the car, he said he looked inside and saw Dixon sitting in the front passenger seat and Dixon's friend driving Asuntuwa's black Honda Civic motor car. He said they were the two men who were at the house earlier that day.
Detective Inspector Altemorth Campbell testified that he received a report and on June 25 last year he and other policemen went along the Stony Hill Road, St. Andrew, near to Asuntuwa's house, where he saw Asuntuwa's motor car. The car was later taken to the Constant Spring Police Station.
Inspector Campbell said they went to Seaview Gardens on June 25 where he saw Dixon who was taken into custody.