The highly anticipated Brittney Baptiste Murder trial finally got started Monday at the No. 1 High Court in St. George’s, with the Prosecution calling the first three out of a list of 15 witnesses to give evidence against 46-year old Demblyn Murray who was indicted on a Capital Murder charge.
The trial commenced before High Court Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford in front of a 14-member jury comprising two men and 12 women and two alternates.
Murray, better known as “Dumplin,” is on trial for the March 2016 gruesome murder of Brittney, who was a 15-year-old student of Happy Hill Secondary School and lived at Good Hope in St. George’s.
The Prosecution team, led by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Christopher Nelson, with assistance from Crown Counsels Crisan Greenidge and Brendon La Touche, informed the court that the case being brought against Murray is based purely on “circumstantial evidence”.
State Prosecutors are hoping to prove that the accused had a motive to kill the teenager, who at the time of her death, had a sex-related matter pending against him at the level of the Magistrate’s Court.
Among the first witnesses called in the murder trial were a sister of the deceased teenager and two residents of the Good Hope community.
Young Brittney reportedly met her premature demise between March 19-21, 2016.
It is alleged that the school girl left home around midday on March 19, to visit her sister at Bealieu in St. George’s but never returned home that evening.
The body was found three days later concealed under some Balizer leaves, lying face down in a plot of land within close proximity to her home.
An autopsy report revealed that the body was already showing signs of decay and multiple small bruises were noticeable under the right side of her breast, right foot and on the left shoulder extending to the hand.
She died from asphyxia, which means a lack of oxygen.
THE NEW TODAY understands that when detained for questioning, the murder-accused also had noticeable bruises on his neck and arms and claimed to have been ambushed by someone and robbed of a small amount of cash.
It is understood that roughly three months before being slapped with Capital Murder charge, Murray was arrested and charged for Defilement of a Female, in connection to an incident dating back to August 2015 involving the deceased.
In spite of Brittney’s unfortunate demise in March 2016, the law allowed for the case to proceed and Dumplin was later committed to stand trial at the High Court on a separate charge of Defilement of a Female.
At the time of his arrest, Murray was married to an aunt of the deceased teenager and living with her in the same yard at Good Hope.
The Prosecution is hopeful that the trial will run for the next three weeks.