I just wanted to defend my brother

By Anastasha Elliott

Amal Whyte cried out in aguish when he heard the guilty verdict against him.

The realization finally hit him that he could spend more than 10 years in prison.

Whyte cried out in anguish and disbelief, and could hardly contain himself. Then suddenly he realized right next to him was his younger brother — student of form 5G1 of the Basseterre Senior High School — waiting to hear his verdict.

Whyte told his brother, whose name could not be stated because he is a juvenile, to stand firm and to trust him.

The jury found his brother guilty too.

Their uncle, Llewelyn Buchanan, sat in court and said nothing, and betrayed no emotions on his face, when the verdicts were read.

Buchanan claimed his two nephews tried to kill him with machetes.

The incident supposedly happened on Feb. 23, 2005 at Trafalgar Village.

The prosecution alleged that the brothers of Trafalgar Village — who were un-represented by counsel —attacked Buchanan with machetes and chopped him repeatedly.

The Whyte brothers did not deny chopping their uncle. They claimed that Buchanan attacked them and they were just defending themselves. They further claimed that Buchanan, despite his denial, had a weapon.

The younger brother, who name cannot be stated because he is juvenile, in his testimony before the court shouldered the blame for the injuries his uncle suffered during the incident.

“I was the one who did all the chopping. My brother did not do any of it because he was on the ground struggling with my uncle,” the brother said.

He explained to the court that his motive was that of brotherly love. He said he was trying to defend his brother Amal who had called out for his help.

“I just wanted him to get off my brother. I was just trying to defend my brother,” the younger brother said.

He told the court how sorry he was that the incident happened.

“I am sorry it happened. I did not intend for it to happen. I ask you all to forgive me,” said the young man.

Amal hearing this testimony broke down in tears. The prosecution was not moved by this story instead accused him of lying for his brother.

District Prosecutor, Janine Harris accused him of joining with his brother and attempting to murder Buchanan.

She added that he followed the instructions of his brother Amal and joined with him to make the wish come through of his uncle not being able to walk again.

“I was trying to defend my brother by any means necessary. I just wanted him off my brother,” the younger brother said.

Prosecutor Harris further accused the two brothers of concocting the story.

Seven witnesses were called to testify by the prosecution team led by Harris.

The uncle, Buchanan, alias Tucker, told the court that the evening before the incident Amal told him he had to move out of their Trafalgar home.

He said that Amal then called his father Ulyses Whyte who began packing his things.

“I told them that they cannot do that. I was born there. They weren’t,” Buchanan said.

Additionally Buchanan said the house belonged to him.

“My grandmother left it to me in her will,” Buchanan said.

He said the three men ganged him, beat him up and threw him out of the house.

Buchanan said he left the home and slept in an old house before returning to the home the following morning.

He said he did not report the incident the night before. However, Amal testified that he had and had received a medical report.

He said he and his father was bitten up by the accused.

“But nothing was done. If something had been done then, we would not of been here this morning. He would not of been around that morning to attack us,” Amal had told the court.

Buchanan said he returned to the house annoyed at what happened the evening before.

He explained that his intention was to gain access to the house, using his fists if necessary.

Arriving at the house, Buchanan said he found his clothes thrown down outside and began picking them up intending to take them back to the house he slept in the evening before.

He did not get to do this.

Buchanan then told the court that he received a chop to his head from Amal.

“He came from the back gate with the machete in his hand. He chopped me and I started to swag up and down. I felt haunted. I couldn’t help myself,” testified Buchanan.

Buchanan added that Amal chopped him again and he fell backwards into the street and Amal began kicking him, then called out to his brother and told him to chop his feet so he cannot walk.

He said the younger brother followed the instructions of his older brother and chopped him on the left knee then the right knee on the shin, cracking open the bone.

Buchanan said that it was at this point that he blacked out. He told the court that he did not attack the two brothers and did not have a weapon.

He also told the court that he is blind in his left eye as a result of one of the brothers spraying something into his eye.

Amal while cross-examining Buchanan asked him to tell the truth.

“Just be honest for once. Just be honest,” Amal said in court.

Testimony was heard from Dr. Desmond Fosberry the specialist surgeon who tended to Buchanan when he arrived at the J.N.F. General Hospital following the incident.

He said that Buchanan had several major wounds.

He listed them as a four and a half inch wound at the back of the neck which had severed several muscles.

Adjacent to that wound and slightly above it, the doctor said Buchanan also had a laceration on the back of the skull.

There was a chip on the bone below the right knee and severing of the tendons below the left kneecap causing the ankle to rise.

That wound he said was caused by blunt force trauma.

He said Buchanan had several minor lacerations across both arms and a contusion on the back. Lacerations he explained are cuts and contusions are bruises.

Dr. Fosberry informed the court that the wounds could have been caused by a sharp bladed object, such as a machete or cutlass, while the blunt force trauma could have been induced by a heavy blunt object.

The Doctor explained the seriousness of the wounds. He said that if the wound on the skull had fallen in the same line as the wounds on the back of the neck he might not of seen Buchanan.

The injury to the lower right leg he said severed some nerves and caused permanent damage to it in terms of movement. There has been some scarring and the tendons below the left knee required surgery to repair.

Buchanan has been left walking with the assistance of a cane.

Other testimony heard by other witnesses however painted a different picture.

Meredith Joseph Isaac, an inventory clerk at The Cable who resides at Cardin Avenue said that on that morning while in his kitchen he heard a loud noise.

He explained the noise as someone beating on a galvanise.

Isaac said he went out onto his veranda and saw Amal fighting with Buchanan.

Amal, he said, was holding Buchanan, who was struggling, from behind while the younger brother was hitting his feet with a machete.

“I called out to them and told them to behave themselves and cool out. They paid me no mind. I asked them once more to behave.”

Isaac said he went back into his home and called the police. When he returned back outside, he saw Buchanan lying down on the road.

Isaac said he saw Amal take a machete a hit Buchanan across the head.

Seeing this Isaac said he rushed back inside and called 911.

Several minutes later he said he heard Amal using indecent words, threatening to kill his uncle and chop off his head.

When asked about this Amal said, “I was mad and I said a lot of things. I don’t remember exactly what I said. I said a lot of things.”

Constable Patrick McKoy one of the first officer on the scene.

Both accused had approached him and told him that they chopped up their uncle and he had gone to the hospital and the two machetes belonged to them and the piece of wood with the nails sticking out of it belongs to their uncle.

He then arrested the two and transported them to the Basseterre Police Station along with the weapons.

Both Amal and his brother chose to give evidence in their defence.

Amal the eldest of the two young men charged with two counts containing; attempted murder and wounding with intent was found guilty of the more serious charge.

His younger brother was found guilty of the lesser charge of wounding with intent.

Both will be sentenced on March 9, pending social inquiry reports.

Amal was remanded to Her Majesty’s prison until the sentencing hearing while the younger was allowed bail with two sureties in the sum of $50,000 each.

He was further ordered by the court to stay as far away from the uncle as possible.

Justice Francis Belle told the young man to go to school and catch up on his school work in the interim of his sentencing hearing.

The father of the two men following the trial stated, “there is no justice in this country.”