St Ann woman adamant she didn't kill mentally ill man
The St Ann woman convicted, along with her husband and three children, for chopping a mentally ill man to death, has revealed that she "feels bad" about the incident but remains adamant that she was not involved.
The comments by Velma Dean were contained in a social enquiry report prepared by the Probation Office and included in her sentencing hearing.
Dean, 65, her husband, Joseph, and their three children - Richard, Dwight, and Jermaine - are facing a long prison sentence following their conviction, last December, for stoning and chopping Stanley McLean to death in the community of Coltart Grove, St Ann, in July 2007.
"Mrs Dean explicitly states that even if the court decides to send her to prison, she will not take responsibility for the victim's death because she did not do anything to harm him," read a section of the report, quoted by presiding judge Justice Carol Lawrence Beswick.
The sentencing was postponed until February 16 because Richard Dean is hospitalised and could not attend court yesterday.
"The doctor has refused to release him to come to court. I don't think it would be appropriate to deal with sentencing in absentia," attorney-at-law Ernest Smith, who is representing the family, said in court.
Probation officers who interviewed Dean revealed in the report that she indicated that she felt bad about what happened to McLean because he could be her son.
She reported that members of the community started stoning the mentally ill man after he chopped her husband with a machete but insisted that she did not harm him.
"She expressed that on the day of the incident, she did not lay a finger on the victim, but she could see what was happening," the report noted.
Dean indicated, too, that she was sorry she allowed citizens to hear about the attack on her husband "because it was they who murdered the victim".
She also complained that McLean had stolen from her property several times and the police did nothing about it, despite numerous reports.
However, prosecutors Sharon Millwood-Moore and Hodine Williams led evidence that Velma Dean played a lead role in the attack on McLean, describing her as "bull buck and duppy conqueror".
McLean's elderly father, Audley, gave evidence during the trial, recounting how he saw Velma Dean inside his son's house with a machete, which she used to chop him all over his body.
He said that shortly after, he heard her call for a piece of rope, which was used to tie his son's feet and drag him out into the street in front of the Deans' home.
Audley McLean said that Velma Dean started chopping his son again.