Justice ... after 10 years! - St Ann family guilty of killing mentally ill man
It has been more than a decade since 71-year-old Audley McLean watched his mentally ill son take his last breath after he was cornered inside an unfinished two-room house by five members of a St Ann family and stoned then chopped to death over a piece of electrical wire.
Yesterday, McLean got some measure of justice when a seven-member jury found the five - Velma Dean; her husband, Joseph; and their three sons, Jermaine, Dwight, and Richard - guilty of the gruesome killing of Stanley McLean in Coltart Grove, St Ann, on July 6, 2007.
NO GRUDGE AGAINST THEM
"It was hard. Sometimes when me think 'bout it, me can't sleep," McLean told The Gleaner hours after the verdict was handed down in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.
Still, the frail, elderly man who requires dialysis treatment twice per week, wanted to make it clear that while he was happy with the verdict, he harboured no ill will towards the Dean family.
"I have no grudge against them. They killed mi son, but I have nothing at all against them. I am not rejoicing over them," he insisted.
The panel of five men and two women deliberated for one hour before returning a unanimous guilty verdict. Prosecutors Sharon Millwood-Moore and Hodine Williams insisted that Velma Dean took on the role of 'bull bucker and duppy conqueror' during the attack, but the now 65-year-old woman wept uncontrollably after the verdict was announced.
"Oh, God! You see and you never fail me," she wailed.
Dwight Dean hugged his mother and broke down in tears before he was handcuffed and led from the courtroom. The others showed no emotions.
All five are scheduled to be sentenced on December 20, and if Audley McLean had his way, they will be gone for a long time.
Father seeking '20 years a piece' for convicted killers of his son
"Twenty years a piece would a feel good because they destroyed the house [where his son was killed] and my property. I had to spend a good amount of money to fix it up back," he reasoned.
However, Ernest Smith, the attorney representing the Dean family, said that the verdict "amounts to a travesty of justice" and made it clear that he intended to file an appeal. "It is totally and completely contrary to the evidence adduced in the case," Smith said.
"The jurors may have been confused ... I am 100 per cent certain that the Court of Appeal will reverse this verdict without calling on the appellants," Smith continued.
But Audley McLean was grateful to the jury for believing his account of how his 29-year-old son was killed.
"I did not tell any lie. I thank the jury because what I speak is the right thing," he insisted.
The elderly man testified during the trial that Velma Deans came to his house on the morning of July 6, 2007, and asked for his son and delivered an ominous warning when she was told that he was not there.
"She said, 'A muss kill him today', and after she kill him, that is the only sin she has to pray for," he said Velma Dean told him.
McLean said that a resident saw Stanley inside his home and raised an alarm, and two of the Dean boys began raining stones on the house. Lead police investigator Sergeant Clinton Brady testified that he found 52 stones in the house.
McLean said the stones destroyed the windows and doors to the house and he saw Velma Dean use a machete to chop his son all over the body. He said that he later learnt that his son had removed a piece of electrical wire from the Deans' house.