Pedro Davis v The Director of Public Prosecution

CourtCourt of Appeal (Bahamas)
JudgeSir Michael Barnett, P
Judgment Date14 February 2022
Neutral CitationBS 2022 CA 25
Docket NumberSCCrApp. No. 137 of 2020
Pedro Davis
The Director of Public Prosecution

The Honourable Sir Michael Barnett, P

The Honourable Madam Justice Crane-Scott, JA

The Honourable Mr. Justice Jones, JA

SCCrApp. No. 137 of 2020


Criminal Appeal — Appeal against Conviction — Murder — Attempted Murder — Case to Answer — Inconsistencies — Duty of a Trial Judge to Assist the Jury on Inconsistencies — Identification Evidence — Recognition — Whether the Case Should Have Been Withdrawn From the Jury — Whether Verdict Unsafe and Unsatisfactory

On the evening of the 21st October 2016, Renaldo Clarke was shot in the head. He died from his injury. The appellant was charged with his murder and the attempted murder of Ronald Dean-Auradin aka “Super”. During trial Super gave evidence that he knew the appellant and that he saw the appellant shoot the deceased and that the appellant fired a shot at him also. Michael Newland was another witness for the prosecution and his evidence was that he was in the car with the appellant on that night. He said that he saw the appellant run across the car shooting and that the appellant shot Renaldo in the back of his head.

The appellant was convicted and appeals his convictions on the grounds that the learned judge erred in law in that “she failed to withdraw the case from the jury and direct an acquittal due to the poor quality and tenuous nature of the evidence of identification”, “she failed to give adequate directions to the jury on the factors enunciated in R. v. Turnbull and that in “all the circumstances of the case, the verdicts are unsafe.” The court heard submissions from the parties and reserved its decision.

Held: appeal dismissed; the convictions and sentences affirmed.

The ground that the learned judge failed to withdraw the case from the jury and direct an acquittal due to the poor quality and tenuous nature of the evidence of identification cannot succeed. There was evidence from two eyewitnesses that it was the appellant who shot the deceased and shot at Super. The challenges to their credibility were matters for the jury. The inconsistencies in their evidence as suggested by the appellant were matters for the jury properly instructed. It was a matter for the jury to decide whether or not they believed the two eye witnesses, or parts of one or the other's evidence or even if they believed neither of the two eyewitnesses. The fact is that there was evidence for a jury to consider and which, if properly directed could reach a guilty verdict.

In this case, the evidence of the two eyewitnesses was critical. Both said that they knew the appellant and one gave evidence that he was in the car with the appellant when the shooting occurred. He identified the appellant who he said was known to him. It was a case of recognition not identification.

The direction given did not draw to the attention the actual evidence led at the trial as to lighting conditions and distances. This is unfortunate. However, as a whole the Turnbull direction given to the jury was sufficient to draw their attention as to the need to be careful in assessing the evidence of Newland and Auradin identifying the appellant as the shooter.

The evidence given by the witnesses once believed entitled the jury to convict. The directions or lack thereof given by the judge was not a material error.

Capron v R SCCrApp No. 13 of 2011 applied

D'Haiti v R [2020] 98 WIR 1 applied

Grieves and others v R [2011] UKPC 39 considered

McPhee v R SCCrApp No. 128 of 2012 followed

Munroe v Attorney General SCCrApp No 152 of 2011 mentioned

R v. Galbraith [1981] 2 All E.R. 1060 applied

R v. Turnbull [1976] 3 All ER 549 applied

Shervin Munnings Jr. v R SCCr App No 164 of 2019 mentioned


Mr. James Thompson, Counsel for the Appellant

Ms. Linda Evans, Counsel for the Respondent

Sir Michael Barnett, P

Judgment delivered by the Honourable


This is an appeal against convictions for murder and attempted murder.


The appellant was convicted of the murder of Renaldo Clarke and the attempted murder of Ronald Auradin on the evening of 21 st October, 2016.


The case against the appellant was based on the testimony of two eyewitnesses. They were Ronald Auradin who was also known as “Super” and Michael Newland. Because their evidence was of central importance in the trial I set it out as the trial judge did in her summation to the jury at the end of the trial.

“Ronald Auradin also known as Super is a carpentry worker. He testified that on Friday, the 21st of October, 2016 at around 9:30/10:00 he was at Rockers Bar where he was catching up with a person he hadn't seen for a while. He didn't remember that person's name. Super said that the defendant, whom he identified in court, must have thought that he was affiliated with the person who shot his friend and that's why Davis came and decided to shoot him around his friend.

After Davis's friend was shot in the leg everyone scattered. Super said that he went home at Lincoln Boulevard where he lived in the upper level of the green apartment by himself. After he left the bar he was chilling in the yard when somebody told him something. He then peeped to see what was going on by his place where he saw Pedro and Meko was going upstairs to his apartment and then he heard gunshots. The two of them came downstairs and the gentleman yelled, “They ‘cross the road.” The two of them, Meko and Pedro crossed the road where he and Renaldo were and he heard a shot. Pedro was the person who had the gun in his hand. Pedro shot his friend and they continued running after him and one of his other friends. They kept running and he ran north on Miami Street and his friend ran south along that road.

Super said I then went into hiding. He went to CDU after officers came for him. At CDU he identified the defendant who he knew all of his life. He was shown Exhibit PD-9 and he said that he identified the defendant therein and he had signed his name.

Under cross-examination Super said he did not speak with the police until the 24th of October because he was in fear of his life and he did not know what the police were looking for him for. He was trying to figure out what was going on. He said after consulting with his people they convinced him to go to the police. He was in fear. He felt he was a target as well.

The witness said that the three men were in a car, two came out and one stayed in. Meko Lundy and the defendant came out. Meko he said is also known as Shortman. On the night in question while he did not see the men go up, he recognized them as they started to come downstairs when they came into the light. When they came downstairs he recognized Pedro Davis and Domeko Lundy. He said that the defendant shot at him twice. He was in the yard by The Patch. Naldo was just standing there when he got shot and they ran after him. They first shot at him Super said was in the street and next one was by his window.

The police came to his house when they were doing their investigations when they we re looking for the bullet that was left in his house. The officer he said found a shell in his apartment and he did not recall if they took any photographs. The witness denied the suggestion that the account of the officers never happened. The witness said that he didn't recall anything in the statement given in 2016, however he not wish to refresh his memory.

Super disagreed with Mr. Rolle that he did not tell the police that the defendant shot at him when he was running. Super said that Shortman was upstairs with the defendant when he, Pedro shot at his house. Super denied shooting the deceased. He said that the defendant shot his friend. He saw them as they came down and shots were fired in his window. Shortman, whose voice he knew, shouted they ‘cross the road and Pedro came and crossed the road and put one in Naldo and when Super ran he said Pedro spank one after him. He said that he told the police who the shooter was.

The witness denied he was lying and that he had just made up everything. The witness denied that he was protecting someone else.

In response to your questions, Jurors, Super said that he and Pedro had had no problems before this and that the car was either a black or grey Honda. He said that the three of them were friends and he had no problem with Renaldo. He said that only Pedro had a gun.

Michael Newland was the final prosecution witness. Unemployed now he said that he was unemployed in October of 2016. He is familiar with Rockers Bar which is through Miami Street.

On Friday, the 21st of October around 10:00 p.m. he was at the bar with P.O. and Shortman and another male. He knew P.O. for two to three ye ars he said.

Newland testified that a little incident happen at the bar with a male named Marco. Afterwards P.O. came back through and told him, “let's ride.” He drove through Lincoln Boulevard. It was him P.O. and Shortman Neko and a next male, a bright male who he was not familiar with who was the driver.

After they left Rockers they went to Lincoln Boulevard by Super's apartment. P.O. he said told Shortman to go upstairs to see if Super was home. And when Doneko came and told P.O. that Super was not upstairs P.O. exited the vehicle and went upstairs and fired couple shots through the window. P.O. then came back downstairs and headed across the street firing shots. Everybody ran. He saw Renaldo Clarke. P.O. shoot him in the back and he fell down in the front of the Guinep Tree in front of the white house. Afterwards they all entered the vehicle. P.O. entered the vehicle and they went by the Kings Bar on Robinson Road.

He identified the spot by the Guinep Tree in Exhibit PD-2 and he identified the defendant before the court. Newland said that they drove a champagne Max that night.

He then gave evidence that on Wednesday, the 26th of October he pointed out P.O. as the...

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