Police Detective Testified During Alleged Murderer’s Trial

During the trial of Taaj Muhammad yesterday, Police Detective Jason Smith told members of the jury that Mr. Muhammad turned himself into the Hamilton Police Station and surrendered in January of 2020.

Detective Smith said that a police interview with a Crown witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lasted around four hours and the witness was transported to a secure location and placed into witness protection immediately following the interview.

Defense lawyer, Charles Richardson, representing Mr. Muhammad, asked Detective Smith if he was aware of the weather conditions on December 29, 2018, the morning that Mr. Muhammad allegedly shot and killed Ronniko Burchall and allegedly swam from St. David’s all the way across to St. George’s harbour. Detective Smith told Mr. Richardson that another officer was in charge of that part of the investigation.
Shaunte Simons-Fox, for the Crown read a witness statement from a Category A forensic pathologist who examined Mr. Burchall’s body after his death.

The statement confirmed that Mr. Burchall’s cause of death was indeed a penetrating gunshot wound to the head on December 29, 2018.

“ The gunshot wound entered the head, traveling in a front-to-back and right-to-left direction before coming lodged within the left side of the occipital lobe of the brain,” the pathologist’s statement read.

In Supreme Court this morning, Mr. Muhammed was invited to take the stand in his defense but declined to do so. After that, his lawyer Charles Richardson rested his case.
Closing arguments for the case will begin on Monday February 21 and jury deliberations will happen soon afterwards

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