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Keith Clarke's widow testifies in murder trial

By Racquel Porter 
 
Dr. Claudette Clarke, the widow of accountant Keith Clarke, who was killed in 2010 by members of the security forces, fought hard to hold back tears while recounting the moment she witnessed three soldiers firing shots at her husband.
 
Dr. Clarke, the prosecution's first witness in the murder trial, took the stand about 10:39 Tuesday morning.
 
But it was in the afternoon session that she became emotional.
 
Recalling the horrifying night of May 26, 2010, Dr. Clarke, who was an education officer, said she returned home with her younger daughter about 8 o'clock.
 
She said they ate, showered and went to bed.
 
About an hour later her husband arrived home and asked her if she made dinner.
 
Dr. Clarke said she explained to him that she didn't because she was tired.
 
She said she felt guilty so she made him a sandwich.
 
The widow said soon after her husband fell asleep.
 
Moments after she said she heard the sound of a helicopter or plane.
 
Dr. Clarke said when she heard the sound getting closer she looked through her windows.
 
That was when she saw the helicopter or plane flying over the area.
 
She said she woke her husband and brought it to his attention.
 
But they went back to bed.
 
While laying in bed, Dr. Clarke said she heard a bang on the roof and what sounded like the sawing of the grille.
 
She again alerted her husband.
 
The widow said at that time the sounds got louder.
 
Noting that they began panicking, Dr. Clarke said she and her husband went to their second daughter's bedroom.
 
Responding to the prosecution whether she had heard any other sound when she went to her daughter's bedroom, Dr. Clarke said the sounds were coming from all over the house.
 
In an attempt to get to the basement, she told the court that she, her husband and daughter huddled together and went downstairs to the living room area.
 
Dr. Clarke said she was panicking and could not find the correct key to open the door to the basement.
 
She said they returned to the master bedroom.
 
At that point, she said her husband climbed atop the closet and instructed her and their daughter to hide in the bathroom located inside the master bedroom - which they did.
 
At that point she began calling her neighbours while her daughter dialled 119.
 
Dr. Clarke said when the sounds got closer, she suggested to her daughter that they should go outside, identify themselves and beg for mercy.
 
But she said just as she and her daughter came out of the bathroom, the master bedroom door opened and three men dressed in army gear entered.
 
The widow said before she could finish identifying herself and the members of the household, she was asked, "Weh him deh?"
 
She said at that point her husband was coming from off the closet.
 
Dr. Clarke added that his feet were on the window and his back turned.
 
Responding to the prosecutor, she said her husband had nothing in his hands.
 
Dr. Clarke said that was when one or two of the men in the army gear opened gunfire, hitting her husband.
 
Responding to the prosecutor on whether the men identified or declared themselves, Dr. Clarke said no.
 
She said they only asked, "Weh di gunman dem deh?"
 
Dr. Clarke said after her husband was shot, the men clad in army gear asked "Weh di rest a di gunman dem deh?"
 
Lance Corporals Greg Tingling and Odel Buckley, and Private Arnold Henry, are on trial for Mr. Clarke's murder.
 
The trial continues Wednesday.
 


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