Thu | Nov 21, 2019

Don wanted heads - Prosecutors release details of confessions in grisly killings as three plead guilty to non-capital murder

Published:Thursday | November 7, 2019 | 12:26 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Staff Reporter
Bypassers look on as the police cordon off the area where one of two severed heads relating to a double murder in Lauriston, St Catherine, was found in 2011.

A don gave the orders for a St Catherine woman and her teenage daughter to be decapitated because they were viewed as informers, according to the video-recorded confessions of three of the men convicted for the grisly crime.

Transcripts of the confessions were released by prosecutors yesterday after Fabian Smith, Adrian Campbell, and Rushane Goldson pleaded guilty to non-capital murder just before they were set to go on trial in the Home Circuit Court for the 2011 double killing that triggered national outrage.

Smith, who is also known as ‘Gubba’, recounted, in his caution statement to detectives, a telephone conversation he had with the don moments before he and eight of his cronies barged into the two-bedroom board house in which Charmaine Cover-Rattray, 40, and her 18-year-old daughter, Joeith Lynch, were asleep on the night of July 20, 2011.

“Kill Crystal and her modda, shoot up [name withheld] house, and mek dem run weh and kill [name also withheld]. Him sey four people fi dead, four a dem head fi cut off, and him sey, ‘Mek sure unnu deal wid di thing’,” Smith disclosed, using Lynch’s pet name.

The convicted killer revealed that Cover-Rattray twice shouted, “The blood of Jesus is against you! before she was chopped repeatedly with a machete and shot four times. He said Lynch, a past student of The Queen’s School, pleaded for her life, saying, “Me no know nutten,” before she, too, was chopped repeatedly and shot.

“Me hear the lass (cutlass) dem start swing and har madda a plea the blood of Jesus and Crystal a scream out. Den me hear about six shots,” Smith recounted for detectives, using Lynch’s pet name.

The convicted killer admitted that he saw his cronies exit the house and immediately questioned, “Weh di head dem deh?”

He said that one of his accomplices went back inside the house “an me hear the lass start swing again.

“Me see [name withheld] come out wid one a di head and [name withheld] come out wid the next one,” he recounted.

Campbell admitted, in his videotaped statement, that he took up one of the heads, believed to be Lynch’s, and held it “by the hair” as they fled the house. “[Name withheld] said to me that the head is bleeding too much, I must throw it away. I throw the head in a gully,” he told detectives.

“Either I was involved or I would be killed. Is not something that I wishfully wanted to take part of ( sic). I know I was dealing with some serious people. It was either I go or I die,” he said.

According to prosecutors Paula Llewellyn and Hodine Williams, a post-mortem revealed that Cover-Rattray was shot six times all over her body and chopped eight times.

“The bones in the neck were severed and the margins of the wounds were smooth and uniform. The cause of death was due to traumatic shock and multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and the neck, with multiple chop wounds,” Llewellyn disclosed.

For Lynch, the postmortem revealed that she died from traumatic shock and multiple chop wounds. Prosecutors say it appeared that both women had died before they were decapitated.

Cover-Rattray and Lynch were killed a day after Scott Thomas, a reputed gangster, was also beheaded in their community of Lauriston.

Campbell said he was told that the women were targeted “because dem talk too much”.

The three convicted killers are scheduled to be sentenced on December 11. Prosecutors announced that they would not be seeking the death penalty for Sanjay Ducally and Kemar Riley, the other two men charged for killing the women.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com