A female witness to the murder of Raymond Butterfield has admitted walking arm-in-arm with his alleged killer minutes before the attack.
Mr Butterfield, 28, clashed with another man in the middle lane of East Broadway at about 11.10pm on March 5 in CCTV footage shown to a Supreme Court jury.
During the brief fight, which lasted only seconds, the cameras caught what appeared to be the occasional flash of a knife before the men were separated by onlookers.
Police officers arrived on the scene moments later.
Prosecutors claim that 19-year-old Mikiel Thomas, who is charged with the murder, is the man seen in the footage fighting with Mr Butterfield.
Mr Thomas, however, has denied the charge.
Defence lawyer Kamal Worrell yesterday challenged the witness’s identification of Mr Thomas as the man who fought Mr Butterfield.
The witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she knew Mr Thomas from school, but Mr Worrell suggested she had told police that she was not sure of his name.
The witness told the court: “We are not friends, so I was not sure how to pronounce it because police were pronouncing it differently each time.”
When CCTV footage from the incident was shown, she accepted the recordings showed her arm briefly around the waist of the man that Mr Worrell described as the suspect before the initial fight and the pair walking “arm-in-arm” across the street.
Mr Worrell asked: “Do you accept that you told police you did not walk across the street with the suspect?”
The witness said: “When I gave my interview I did not recall doing that.”
The witness also accepted that she told police that the suspect came from her right, near the entrance to the gas station, before the final clash when the footage showed the suspect sat next to her on a bench.
“At the time I thought it was true,” she said. “That was what I recalled. I didn’t recall him doing that.
“I didn’t recall him being close to me.”
During the clash, she remained at the bench watching the fight and added she did not remember when she left, only that it was after the arrival of police officers.
On Tuesday, the court heard that the altercation stemmed from an incident earlier in the night in which one of the witness’s friends was insulted after refusing a drink.
The witness said an argument escalated with Mr Butterfield in the Blue Waters Anglers Club before she and her friend walked outside.
She said she met Mr Thomas and other members of the Devonshire Cougars football team across the street, and the group went to the club to find out what happened.
The court heard that a fight broke out, with Mr Butterfield punching Mr Thomas in the face before the groups separated and Mr Butterfield walked back into the club.
Mr Butterfield came out minutes later and the witness said Mr Thomas and Mr Butterfield ran at each other, colliding in the street and falling to the ground.
While she said both men walked away after being separated, prosecutors said Mr Butterfield later died of his injuries.
The trial continues.
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