Thu | Nov 21, 2019

I walked in on beheading attack, accused insists

Published:Friday | November 8, 2019 | 12:46 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Staff Reporter

A jury got to watch yesterday as an assistant teacher recounted for police investigators how he walked in on the gruesome killing of a teenage girl who was later decapitated, along with her mother.

It came after prosecutors played in court the video-recorded caution statement accused killer Sanja Ducally gave detectives probing the 2011 beheadings of Charmaine Cover-Rattrary, 40, and her 18-year-old daughter, Joeith Lynch, at their home in the St Catherine community of Lauriston.

Ducally, then an assistant teacher at St Catherine Primary School, told investigators that he was passing the house where the women lived when he “heard like someone was screaming” and went inside “to look what was going on”.

“I saw Wormy [and] Rushene inside Crystal room, so I said to Rushene ( sic), ‘What going on?’ He couldn’t answer because he was busy chopping Crystal,” he said in the video, using Lynch’s pet name.

Rushane Goldson, Fabian Smith, and Adrian Campbell pleaded guilty to non-capital murder for their roles in the killings just before they were set to go on trial in the Home Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Ducally, wearing a blue vest, sat with investigators at the Grants Pen Police Station just over a month after the killings. He told them that he was standing next to Rushane as he chopped Lynch, a former student of The Queen’s School.

“While he was chopping, he swung the cutlass and it chopped me on my hand,” he said, adding that he ran from the premises through a back fence.

“While I was running, I heard five to six shots,” Ducally continued.

However, he insisted that he did not know who else was at the house “because I didn’t saw ( sic) them”.

A relative of the two women also gave evidence that hours before the attack, she had warned them that there was a plan by persons in the community to kill them.

Her account was among seven witness statements and three agreed facts that were tendered into evidence following concurrence between prosecutors and lawyers for Ducally and co-accused Kemar Riley.

The relative recounted, in her statement read out in court, a conversation she had with Lynch on the morning of July 19, 2011.

“I told her I received some information that people are planning to kill her and her mother and they should move,” she indicated.

According to the witness, Lynch relayed the message to her mother before giving an ominous response.

“Crystal said her mother said she had nowhere to go, and if a fi har time, a fi har time,” the witness told detectives, referring to Lynch by her pet name.

Both women were decapitated later that day.

A second family member gave evidence that she was with Cover-Rattray and Lynch up to the morning of their deaths.

She said, on July 20, that her boyfriend told her he had been informed by a friend that the mother and daughter had been killed and that their heads could not be found.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com