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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

LUCAS RICHARDS AND JESSICA B LLOYD TRIAL: A JUDICIAL REPORTER’S PERSPECTIVE

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Judicial Reporter Richards Watson shares insights from the trial of Lucas Richards and Jessica B Lloyd, which he observed from start to finish.

The incident occurred on September 14, 2023, in the palm farm community in Dixville Township. Lucas Richards was arrested the same day, and on December 14, 2023, a Grand jury for Montserrado County issued a seven-count indictment against him, charging him with criminal attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault.

The trial was set for the February Term of court, with the prosecuting attorney presenting nine witnesses, including the victim, Jessica. These witnesses comprised five regular witnesses, three subpoenaed witnesses, and a rebuttal witness, Jessica Lloyd herself.

Prior to the trial, these witnesses had voluntarily given statements to police investigators, confirming in court that these were indeed their statements. However, during the trial, their testimonies differed from their initial statements. For example, the state’s prime witness, Ernest Philips, changed his account of the incident in court compared to what he told investigators.

Jessica Lloyd, while on the witness stand, did not attribute the throat-cutting incident to Lucas Richards, contradicting her initial statement to the police where she defended him.

Critical mistakes by the prosecuting attorney included failing to produce the alleged knife and iron used in the incident, as well as neglecting to present crime scene photos. In a criminal trial, prima facie evidence is crucial for a conviction, which was lacking in this case.

The judge ruled that the testimonials from the nine witnesses were uncorroborated, leading to the acquittal of Lucas Richards. Despite public sentiment surrounding the case, the court’s decision was based on legal principles and evidence presented.

In conclusion, Watson asserts that the mishandling of the case by Jessica Lloyd and her lawyers contributed to the outcome, emphasizing that the court cannot rectify what was not adequately presented.

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