Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Michael McLean trial: Prosecutor labels accused cold, calculating

Published:Thursday | March 1, 2018 | 12:43 AMLivern Barrett

Prosecutors yesterday sought to portray St Thomas businessman Michael McLean as a cold, calculating killer who slashed the throats of three children and two women as a “blood sacrifice".

But attorney-at-law Carlton Colman, who is representing McLean, fired back, contending that, from the start, the police conducted a biased investigation to make his client the fall guy.

 

...'Lambs to the slaughter'

Both sides in the murder trial of St Thomas businessman Michael McLean yesterday made their last pitches to the seven-member jury in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Justice Bertram Morrison, who is presiding over the trial, is expected to begin his summation to the jury today.

The businessman is on trial for killing his former girlfriend, Terry-Ann Mohammed, her son, Jessie O’Gilvie, as well as her niece, Patrice Martin-McCool and her children, Lloyd McCool, Jihad McCool and Sean Chin in St Thomas in 2006.

Mohammed’s body was found in bushes in the community of Needham Pen with the throat slashed and burns to her genital area and upper body. The bodies of four other victims were found in bushes near Prospect Beach with their throats slashed. The decomposing body of the sixth victim, six-year-old Jihad McCool, was found in a shallow grave in St Mary one week later.

Llewellyn noted that prosecutors do not have to prove motive, but cited evidence that McLean complained to a friend, days before the killings, that the lower half of his body had done “dead” and that he blamed it on a visit to an obeah man recommended by Mohammed.

“He clearly thought Teenie was responsible for it either by what she was giving him to eat or whether she did something to him when she took him to her obeah man,” told the jurors, referring to Mohammed by her pet name.

'BLOOD SACRIFICE'

As a result, Llewellyn said McLean “engineered a diabolical plan to carry out this blood sacrifice”, arguing the six victims were led to their deaths like “lambs to the slaughter".

“All of the deceased, with the exception of Jihad, met their deaths with a clean cut to the neck,” she insisted.

“He had the motive, the intention and the opportunity to carry out his plan,” she continued, recounting evidence that the four children called him ‘daddy’.

However, the businessman’s attorney countered saying the police, in conducting their investigations, “did everything to point to the accused".

Seeking to substantiate this claim, he pointed to a further statement given by one of the investigators last month - almost 12 years after the killings - in which he quoted the businessman as saying “I want to take you to where I buried the little girl”, a reference to Jihad McCool.

Colman contended that in a statement given shortly after the incident the investigator said McLean offered to take them “to the spot where the little girl is buried".

 “This was a deliberate act, calculated to mislead,” he told jurors.

“When they felt like they did not load the case enough in 2006 they come back 12 years later and try to juck in something else,” Colman charged.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com