Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Put them away for life - Dr Peter Vogel's widow

Published:Friday | June 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

Daniel Vogel, the son of late university lecturer, Dr Peter Vogel, will celebrate his 16th birthday today, one day after the family’s former live-in household helper and her boyfriend were convicted of killing his father.

For Parlan Vogel, the widow of the late lecturer, the thought of her son celebrating another birthday without his father was too much.

“My husband Peter is not here to celebrate with us, to see how wonderful our kids turned out. How beautiful, kind and academically gifted they are,” Parlan Vogel said in an exclusive interview with The Gleaner yesterday.

“He would be proud,” she added.

Parlan Vogel, however, acknowledged that the verdict of the seven-member jury to find Yanika Scott, her former helper, and Kelvin Downer guilty of the 2007 killing has brought some peace for her family.

 “I hope they are put away for life,” Parlan Vogel said yesterday from the United States, where the family now resides.

“I’m very happy with the verdict, but it’s also a very emotional time for my family. We got justice and finally closure,” she added.

The jury of four men and three women deliberated for nearly two and a half hours in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston before its unanimous verdict. Scott, 31, and Downer, 29, are to be sentenced on July 28.

Prosecutors Maxine Jackson and Kelly-Ann Francis led evidence, during the three-week trial, that Daniel, who was six-years-old at the time, discovered his father’s body shortly after midnight in the study room of their home in College Commons, St Andrew on July 19, 2007.

“No family should ever have to go through what we did,” said Parlan Vogel, revealing that she took some time to compose herself after learning of the verdict.

Dr Vogel, a Swiss citizen, was found with his hands tied behind his back, his feet bound at the ankles and a piece of cloth tied around his mouth. Forensic pathologist Dr S N Kadiayla testified that he was strangled.

His death came nearly four months after Scott was hired.

Yanika Scott and Kelvin Downer, showed no emotion after the verdict was announced.