Wed | Jan 16, 2019

I want the death penalty, says sister of Michael McLean’s victim

Published:Wednesday | March 7, 2018 | 12:25 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Gleaner Writer

The sister of one of the six family members brutally slaughtered by Michael McLean 12 years ago believes the St Thomas businessman is a candidate for the death penalty. 

“If it was up to me, I would ask for the death penalty,” Sandra Mohammed told The Gleaner minutes after McLean was convicted of a crime that shocked the nation.

A seven-member jury deliberated for close to four hours before unanimously agreeing that McLean was guilty of killing Terry-Ann Mohammed, her son Jessie O’Gilvie, as well as her niece Patrice Martin-McCool and her children: Lloyd McCool, 3, Jihad McCool, 6, and Sean Chin, 9, on February, 25, 2006. Terry-Ann Mohammed’s body was found with her throat slashed and burns to her stomach and pubic area in bushes in the community of Needham Pen in St Thomas.

The bodies of Patrice Martin-McCool, Jessie O’Gilvie, Lloyd McCool and Sean Chin were found with their throats slashed in bushes along Prospect Beach, also in St Thomas. The decomposing body of the other victim, six-year-old Jihad McCool, was found one week later in a shallow grave in St Mary. McLean is to be sentenced on April 12 and Sandra Mohammed believes he should die in prison.

“He deserves it. He took six members of my family, and it was the way he did all the murders, so brutal,” she said, adding that 12 years has done little to ease the pain her family has experienced. Sandra Mohammed admitted, too, that she was on the verge of giving up hope that the man responsible for the killings would be brought to justice. Her reason was a familiar complain ­ the slow pace of the nation’s judicial system.

“We thought this was just going down the drain and that nothing would come out of it. We know the system, how it is in Jamaica,” she told The Gleaner from her home in the United States. 

Prosecutors Paula Llewellyn, Jeremy Taylor, Hodine Williams and Kelly-Ann Francis led evidence during the five-week trial that the six were killed because McLean lost mobility in the lower half of his body and believes Terry-Ann Mohammed and her niece were trying to obeah him. 

“Michael McLean engineered a diabolical plan to carry out this blood sacrifice,” Llewellyn said in her closing argument to the jury, adding that the victims were led to their deaths like lambs to the slaughter.