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Archive for Friday, April 24, 2009

Lawrence resident Trevor Toussaint found not guilty of arson, burglary

Defense attorney: Defendant’s testimony was ‘helpful’ to verdict

April 24, 2009, 2:06 p.m. Updated April 24, 2009, 6:24 p.m.

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Lawrence man acquitted of arson, burglary

A jury Friday found a Lawrence man innocent of arson and burglary charges. Enlarge video

A Douglas County jury on Friday acquitted a 44-year-old Lawrence man who was accused of setting his ex-girlfriend’s mobile home on fire last summer.

Trevor Toussaint had spent most of Thursday on the stand disputing testimony of Kimberly Berry, his former girlfriend, about events leading up to the fire. He had also said he was several miles away from the mobile home when it caught fire on June 10, 2008.

Even though it’s not required for a defendant to testify, Toussaint’s attorney said it can often be helpful in a case that is based on mostly circumstantial evidence.

“I thought his testimony was helpful,” defense attorney Charles Whitman said.

Jurors deliberated for about an hour Thursday and for more than four hours Friday before finding Toussaint not guilty of arson and burglary charges.

Prosecutors had accused him of breaking into Berry’s home and setting the fire out of revenge when Berry began to see another man.

Fire investigators have ruled the blaze was set intentionally after gasoline was poured onto Berry’s bed and in the hallway, and then ignited.

But Whitman had argued that investigators focused on Toussaint too quickly because Berry immediately accused him in the case.

After the verdict, two jurors said they did not believe prosecutor Eve Kemple, an assistant Douglas County district attorney, was given enough evidence to convince them beyond a reasonable doubt to convict Toussaint.

Much of the testimony in the trial that began on Monday centered around the couple’s on-again, off-again relationship.

The acquittal does not mean the legal troubles end for Toussaint, an immigrant from Grenada.

He faces misdemeanor charges in Douglas County in five other cases. In several of them, he is accused of violating a judge’s protective order on Berry. District Judge Paula Martin in court Friday also said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had asked local authorities to hold him in custody.

Prosecutors have said Toussaint is at risk of being deported because of his criminal history here and in another state.

In Douglas County, the arson count was the most serious charge he faced.

Comments

Steve Jacob 5 years, 8 months ago

Dude was found not guilty, so that means he did not do it. But I sure hope they both stay away from each other. The part about them living together AFTER he was arrested for it was a sure sign he was not going to be convicted.

mmofficeandschoolsupply 5 years, 8 months ago

Go to MSN.COM and type Trevor Toussaint. The Trindad News has an interesting article.

ModerateOne 5 years, 8 months ago

srj (Anonymous) says…

Dude was found not guilty, so that means he did not do it.


Wrong. Dude was found not guilty, so that means the State could not prove he did it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Grundoon Luna 5 years, 8 months ago

Legal innocence - a not guilty verdict - does not mean he didn't do it. He was just able to cover his tracks well enough to hide any evidence. This dude is bat guano crazy!!

May we all see his lame @$$ is get deported!!!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 8 months ago

Not guilty of arson.

Further indictments pending on the charge of "being a creepy mo-fo".

Steve Jacob 5 years, 8 months ago

So you are saying if the DA charges you, you did the crime, but a jury might find you not guilty?

maveric 5 years, 8 months ago

Brings back memories of Jason Rose who set the Boardwalk Apartments Fire that KILLED 3 people and severely injuried many others including myself when I had to jump from my 3rd floor window which was my only escape route, Jason got 10 years for arson which is a felony for killing 3 people which is down right BS if you ask me.

That goes to show you how the Court System is in Kansas period, 10 years for burning down a whole block and killing 3 people, the system is a MAJOR JOKE if you ask me. To me you take a life you do life plain and simple.

cutny 5 years, 8 months ago

Not guilty. Nice work Charlie! Move along people. Nothing to see here.

somebodynew 5 years, 8 months ago

srj - that happens quite frequently due to various reasons in a lot of courts. It just seems like it happens a lot in Douglas County.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 8 months ago

"So you are saying if the DA charges you, you did the crime, but a jury might find you not guilty?"

If the DA charges you, it's because they THINK you did it, AND they think they can get a conviction. It doesn't mean you did it. Although... this guy most likely did it.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 8 months ago

Only in the stinkin' liberal bastien(sp?) known as the Dg. Co. court system.... Put this kind of crime on trial in, say, Ford or Finney Co., and I'll bet you get a different outcome. Hey, is that booklet titled "Jury Duty for Dummies" out yet?

pissedinlawrence 5 years, 8 months ago

How sad. Of course he did it. I wish I could have been part of that Jury. SOB wouldn't have gotten away scott free. Shame on you all.

notjustastudent 5 years, 8 months ago

pissedinlawrence- you weren't on that jury because you would not have been willing to hear both sides of the case and THEN make a decision. Maybe you still would feel the same way after you did, but that's not how they pick juries, and that's not how juries are supposed to act. Shame on them for doing their job? Shame on you for criticizing people you don't even know, who were put in a situation that you weren't.

Pywacket- If the person being stalked doesn't report the stalker, they can't enforce anything. Does anyone know (and this is an honest question, not one in mockery or anything) if there was a history of this kind of behavior reported to police prior to the fire?

KimBerry1973 5 years, 7 months ago

Trevor Toussaint was definately guilty of this crime but got away with it becasue he knows how to manipulate the system. He put in the jury's mind that I was dating a married man which was true but failed to say that they had already filed for a divorce & we're living in separate homes at the time. The soon to be ex wife knew we we're seeing each other & had even met with me becasue she wanted to know what kind of person was going to be around her son. She definately had no problem with the relationship but this gave Trevor an out to make it look like I was the cause of their divorce (which was not true) & gave the jury reasonable doubt that it could have been an jealous soon to be ex-wife that set the fire. If I even had any idea that this was going to be an issue in the trial I would have had the ex-wife testify of our relationship being very civil. As far as me seeing Trevor after the fire, first off I did not live with him for four months after the fire. I did stay with him a few times after the fire because he had made a threat to me that he was going to burn a friend's home down too & had directly called my best friend and tolds her that she was going to get hers. He also would constantly go over to my mentally ill mother's home & call me from her phone. I was afraid of what he might do to my friends & family. The only way I knew to take control of the situation was to make him think he had what he wanted which was me so that's why I assumed thye relationship after the fire. Unless you've personally been thru extreme domestic violecnce like this you may not unstand my reasoning on this decision. I know before I went thru all of this I would have thought the same thing. There's was so many things that were not allowed to be submitted or said during the trial. For instance, there we're a couple of phone calls that he had left on my voicemail that we're very vulgar & threatening in which he states that "You thought you we"re on top of the world over me? Where you at now? I told you not to mess with me!" He was referring to the fire in these calls. If the juror could have heard them then maybe they would have seen another side of him that they didn't see in the courtroom. I also was not allowed to stated that I had a protection from stalking order on him or was not allowed to talk about previous arrest records or even court cases I have against him coming up. He has broken the stalking order several times & has broken into my vehicle on three occassions.

KimBerry1973 5 years, 7 months ago

This man is very dangerous & should not be allowed to remain in the United States. Our tax dollars are having to pay for all his medical bill while he remains her since he has cancer whether he is in jail or not. He should be deported back to Grenada & let his country deal with his behavior. I believe in karma & maybe the gods & godesses are punishing him now by the cancer trying to consume him now. Everything you do will come back to you threefold & hope he gets every bit of it back at him since there was no justice served in ths case.

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