Home Muhammad Taaj Muhammad guilty of Ronniko Burchall murder in 2018 – The Royal Gazette

Taaj Muhammad guilty of Ronniko Burchall murder in 2018 – The Royal Gazette

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Updated: February 24, 2022 5:55 PM

Murder victim Ronniko Burchall (Photograph provided)

A man was today found guilty of murder by firearm in 2018 by a unanimous verdict.

The jury of six men and five women found Taaj Muhammad guilty of the premeditated murder of Ronniko Burchall and the use of a firearm to commit the offence.

Muhammad remained silent when the verdict was delivered.

Detective Inspector Jason Smith then welcomed the verdict – but said there were no winners in the case.

He added: “A young man lost his life in this tragedy and another young man will spend his behind bars.”

But he said: “We are satisfied that the jury was out and the verdict was fair.”

Mr Smith added that the case had been difficult for detectives due to the reluctance of potential witnesses to come forward.

He said: “There were several people at St David’s Cricket Club the night of [the murder]but few came to help, so without the help of the public at first it was difficult.

Mr Smith added: ‘The witnesses who have come forward in this case have been brave. They were brave and that’s what tipped the iceberg for us.

“We hope that today will be the start of many cases in court so that we can bring justice and closure to the families of those affected.”

The court heard earlier that Mr Burchall, 30, was shot in the head at close range as he left a Christmas party at St David’s County Cricket Club just after 1.30am on the 29th December.

He was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries the following day.

A witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the court that Muhammad confessed to shooting months after the murder.

She said he told her he then swam across St George’s Harbor and dropped the gun in the ocean in the process.

The witness said she only spoke to the police about the confession in July 2020 because she feared for her life.

She also identified Muhammad as the shooter in CCTV footage from the cricket club based on a distinctive “limping”.

The woman and a police officer said they were able to identify the accused in CCTV footage taken inside the club hours before the shooting.

The person they identified as Muhammad was seen leaving the club approximately three minutes after the victim arrived.

The court also heard that a gray sweatshirt and a pair of jeans were seized from the defendant’s grandmother’s home days after the shooting.

Testing then revealed a particle consistent with gunshot residue inside the pockets of the sweatshirt and a series of particles, which contained two of the three elements that make up GSR on both garments.

Carrington Mahoney, on behalf of the Crown, said GSR evidence and CCTV footage supported the woman witness’s confession.

Muhammad, of St George’s, did not speak in his own defence.

But Charles Richardson, who appeared for Muhammad, said the evidence submitted by the Crown could not be relied upon.

He argued that the woman witness who claimed he confessed to her hated Muhammad and produced a “stupid and crazy” story so she could start a new life abroad.

Mr Richardson said the quality of CCTV footage was too poor to identify the shooter and that the two witnesses who identified Muhammad from footage taken inside the club had a vested interest in the case.

He added that there was no evidence as to how or when the GSR particle ended up on clothing, let alone evidence to link it to Mr Burchall’s murder.

Mr Richardson added that there was no evidence that Muhammad had a motive for killing Mr Burchall.

Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe remanded Muhammad into custody until April 1 for a sentencing date to be set.

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