By John Denny Observer Reporter
(Charlestown, Nevis) ” Nearly 30 witnesses were called this week to testify in the Crown’s case against Warrington Phillip, of Jessup’s, for the murder of his wife Shermel Williams-Phillip. Closing arguments in the case are expected to be heard today. According to testimony this week, Shermel was found dead in her car on Friday, Feb. 16, 2007. She was to attend a function that night at the Four Seasons Resort where she worked. A mother and daughter walking by her house shortly after 7 p.m. saw the hazard lights flashing and the horn was honking. The daughter testified Shermel’s car was shaking. Another Brown Hill resident later walked by the house and saw the car’s flashers on and approached the car to investigate and found her body. Further investigation by other neighbors revealed a horrific scene. According to District Medical Officer Chandy Jacob, who made the pronouncement of death, Shermel’s face, arms and shoulder were riddled with stab wounds and her throat was laid open with “large, deep, gaping lacerations.” In regard to the injuries to the neck, Jacob said “The wound was not well defined.” And in his determination it would have resulted in “instant uncontrollable bleeding.” Forensic Pathologist Dr. Stephen Jones, who conducted the post mortem on Shermel’s body, determined the cause of death to be hemorrhage and shock due to multiple stab wounds and that everything other than the neck wound, would have been less than fatal. The jugular vein and the carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain, were severed. Prosecution asked Dr. Jones if the irregular nature of the larger wound to the throat could have been cause by a serrated blade. Dr. Jones believed the wound was more consistent with a series of many stab wounds to the same area of the neck and considering how fast she would have been losing blood from this injury, unconsciousness and death would have come in little over two minutes. According to testimony, the relationship between Shermel and Warrington was stormy. Friends and family took the stand and recounted incidents they witnessed where the two had fought emotionally and physically. The two were estranged at the time of her death, but in the months and weeks preceding the murder he had come to her house to reclaim certain items of their failed relationship. Once he came and removed the clothesline poles, according to testimony. No testimony has put the accused at the crime scene. His vehicle was spotted near the Brown Hill crime scene at the time of the murder and shortly after he was spotted at the roundabout at Pump Road in his vehicle, which is less than a five minute drive from Shermel’s home. Witness for the prosecution and the officer in charge of the murder investigation, Corporal Joel Caines, repeatedly hurt the prosecution’s case under cross examination by defense counsel Dr. Henry Browne. Dr. Browne asked if Cpl. Caines knew what an investigative check list was and if he had used one while processing the crime scene. “I didn’t need one,” Cpl. Caines said. Cpl. Caines also testified that he was the exhibits officer of the case, but the Charlestown police headquarters has no exhibits book to log incoming evidence and thereby had no documentation of any evidence received or released. Cpl. Caines further testified that no attempt was made to take fingerprints from any part of the car Shermel’s body was found in, nor did they attempt to recover any hair or fiber evidence from the car. DNA evidence suggests there was some biological material recovered from the hand of the accused that matched that of the victim.