Prosecution closes case in Jonathan Decker’s murder trial


May 24, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Lead State Prosecutor in the ongoing murder trial involving one Jonathan Decker, Joseph A.K. Sesay, Wednesday, March 23, closed the prosecution’s  case against the accused in the Freetown High Court presided over by Justice Monfred Sesay.

The accused is in court on a count’s charge of murder, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone and the prosecution alleges that he murdered one Samuel Salter on 16th December, 2015 in Freetown.

In his closing address, Prosecutor Sesay told the presiding Judge and the empaneled  jury that the accused was charged with one count of murder and a preliminary investigation was conducted at the Magistrates’ Court with the matter later committed to the High Court for trial on March 31, 2016.

He said he presented six prosecution witnesses, including the Government Consultant Pathologist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, who established the causes of death of the deceased.

After the prosecution closed its case, the judge put the accused to his election as to how he would like to open his defence, giving him three options: testifying from the dock, taking the witness stand and testifying on oath or relying on his statement made to the police.

The accused told the court that he would rely on the statement he had made to the police and that he would not present any witness(s) to testify in his defence.

The judge ordered both the prosecution and defending lawyer M. Bawoh from the Legal Aid Board to address the court on Wednesday, 30th May, 2018.

It could be recalled that the deceased’s daughter, Edna Johnson, had testified in court on how the accused used cutlass to hit her father on the head and killed him.

She recalled on 16 December, 2015, when the deceased asked her younger brother, Patrick Johnson, to clean a certain mat nearby, and that she later overheard some noise from the direction where the boy had gone to clean the said mat.

She told the court that she went to the scene and met the accused shouting at the boy, telling him not to clean the mat nearby but to take it to a nearby drainage.

“From that point, I left the scene to collect water for my younger brother. Upon my return, I met one Aunty Melrose holding the accused and advising him not to do anything to my father but he shoved her and hit my father with a cutlass. Blood started oozing from my father’s head while we took him to the hospital,” she said.

The deceased died as a result of the wound, she said.

Pathologist Dr. Simeon Owiz Koroma had also testified that the deceased, Samuel Salter, was killed by unnatural means.

According to Dr. Koroma, he had conducted an examination on the deceased on the 23rd December 2015, and that the deceased had a six centimetre extensive and deep cut on the left side of his head.

He said the wound fractured the deceased’s skull and that by extension damaged his brain. The pathologist remarked that Samuel salter ‘could have died due to acute hemorrhagic shock.’