An Accra High Court has commenced trial of Joseph Kwasi Effah, a 63- year-old tailor and farmer, who allegedly shot a pig, which later turned out to be a human being.
The Police later identified the deceased as Prince Kwabena Kumi aged 36.
Charged with manslaughter, Effah, a Neighborhood Watch Committee member, pleaded not guilty before a seven-member jury.
The prosecution led by Mrs Sefakor Batse, Principal State Attorney, said eight witnesses would be called to make their case.
The prosecution and defense counsel took turns to address the jury and the court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.
The prosecution said the accused Joseph Kwesi Effah, was a tailor and a farmer and a resident of Akim Asuboa near Akim Oda.
Prince Kwabena Kumi (now deceased) was a 36-year-old aeronautic Engineer, who worked with Africa World Airlines in Accra.
The prosecution said on March 31, 2018, the deceased left Accra to visit his mother Comfort Nkansah Kumi at Akim Asuboa in his Honda CRV vehicle with registration Number GE 7809- 14.
The prosecutor said when he (the deceased) reached Akim Akroso, he took his vehicle to a washing bay and joined some of the washing bay attendants at a nearby drinking spot to drink.
It said the deceased was later spotted at the Akim Akroso lorry station, very
intoxicated, with his car parked in the middle of the road allegedly.
According to the prosecution, the Akroso Police intervened by impounding his vehicle and got him a passenger bus enroute to Akim Oda.
It said an arrangement was made for one Benedicta Buruwaa, a trader to meet the deceased on his arrival to escort him to his mother’s house.
The prosecution said the arranged meeting did not materialise because Buruwa arrived late and did not meet him at the agreed drop-off point.
According to the prosecutor, the deceased could not make his way home so his relatives lodged a complaint at the Akim Oda Police station.
The prosecution said on April 3, 2018, a search party found the body of Prince Kwabena Kumi (the deceased) in a state of decomposition in the bush along the Asuboa-Akroso road.
It said investigations later revealed that the accused person was a member of the Akim Asuboa Neighbourhood Watch Committee and on March 31, 2018, he was on duty at about 10:00 pm together with one Daniel Kwabena Akwaah, also a farmer and a member of the same Neighbourhood Watch Committee.
The prosecution said during their patrol, they both heard a snoring sound in the bush and suspected it to be a pig.
The court heard that the accused, who was holding a locally manufactured gun, went closer towards the sound and fired in that direction without checking exactly what or who he was firing at.
The prosecution said it was only when they got to the exact spot where he fired that he realised he had shot a human being.
They, however, left without offering any assistance or reporting the matter to the police.
The body of the person was identified later as that of Prince Kwabena Kumi.
The prosecution said the pathologist, after postmortem examination, gave the cause of death as haemorrhagic shock, severe jaw and chest injuries and gunshot at intermediate range.
The prosecutor said investigations led to the arrest of the accused and other suspects and the retrieval of three locally manufactured single barrel guns from members of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee, including that of the accused person which were forwarded to the forensic laboratory for ballistic examination.
“The ballistic report was conclusive that the pellets retrieved from the body of the deceased could have been discharged from any of the guns retrieved from them, including that of the accused.
“The report also concluded that the shotguns which included that of the accused are lethal and
capable of inflicting fatal wounds,” the prosecution added.
The accused in his earlier statements to the police during preliminary investigations, initially denied any knowledge about the death of the deceased, but later admitted shooting him by mistake, thinking it was an animal.
The prosecution said the accused person admitted failing to offer any assistance even though he realised it was a human being he had shot.
The prosecutor said the accused person allegedly said he failed to report the incident out of fear and that he did not intend to kill Prince Kwabena Kumi.