Archangel of death
After slitting Gardner's throat, Ruddock snubbed Smith's order to cut off her head, court told
In chilling evidence laid before the court, accused murderer Andre Ruddock was one of two archangels ordained by Kevin O. Smith, now-deceased pastor of the Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, and was instructed to perform a sacrificial ritual on October 17.
Ruddock, it was disclosed in the Home Circuit Court on Wednesday, was called the ‘Archangel Gabriel’, while another male, referred to as Witness A, was designated ‘Michael the Archangel’.
They were both allegedly handed knives and commanded to kill on the night in question, but it is alleged that only Ruddock carried through on Smith’s order to cut the throat of 39-year-old Tanika Gardner.
Members of the Paradise, St James, church located at 144 Albion Street, Montego Bay, in St James, gave accounts that Smith, two weeks before the sacrificial night, began to divert from his usual teachings to make prophecies, citing visions about people's deaths and when those events would happen.
“Smith had started to act in a strange way and started to change what he taught in the church,” said Witness A.
In the weeks leading up to the night on which two members were killed, it is reported that he started to ascribe divinity to late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and told congregants to listen to secular songs by Sizzla, Capleton, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Queen Ifrica, among others.
According to the witnesses, Smith had started telling the members that they could smoke marijuana to elevate them to a higher plane of consciousness.
The court heard that at a service held at the ark, the night before the killing, Smith told members that before entering the church, they should bow and he would judge them and write their names in the biblical 'Lamb’s Book of Life'.
Smith indicated that he was God in the flesh and had come to judge the world, it is claimed.
On the day of the killing, about 2:35 p.m., Witness A alleged to have seen when Smith arrived at the church in the company of now-deceased Kevaughn Palmer and a policewoman.
Smith, it is alleged, told the now-deceased Palmer that whoever was in front of the wine, Palmer should cut that person’s throat so that they could enter into the kingdom.
Smith, who died in a crash nine days after being detained during the night of the macabre rituals, instructed the now-deceased Palmer to cut the throat of Witness A and other persons.
Witness A said he went to the "safe side" in order to avoid his throat being cut.
Smith told another male, referred to as Witness B, that in order for him to enter into the kingdom, Palmer would have to cut his throat.
Witness B knelt down in front of Smith and handed the knife to Palmer. Witness B subsequently ran outside, along with another person, a female designated as Witness C.
Palmer, however, reportedly chased Witness B and Witness C and stabbed them in their back.
Smith is then alleged to have begun destroying the glass on the altar, the window, and other items.
Michael Brown, a patient who was reportedly in need of a kidney, is said to have bled to death after Smith pulled out medical tubes that were attached to his body.
“You have to die, but you will rise again because I am the resurrection and the light,” the court heard that Smith told Brown, citing a scriptural quote from Jesus Christ.
Smith allegedly told Witness A and Ruddock to leave Brown to die.
Witness A and Ruddock were instructed to admit persons inside the ark, whose names were on a list Smith had, the court was told.
The persons, whose names were called, were allowed to enter the ‘Ark’.
These persons, the court heard, signed “999” beside their names and thereafter Smith signed “999” beside their names.
The police reportedly reached the church gate before Gardner was killed.
Witness B, the court was told, heard Smith asking, “Who is at my gate?”
Gardner reportedly answered, was allowed to enter the Ark, and told to leave her luggage.
Moments leading up to her death, she allegedly had dialogue with Smith in the presence of Ruddock.
Smith reportedly asked Gardner: “Is your blood clean?”
He also asked her about a particular health issue from which she was suffering at the time.
Smith asked Gardner: “Do you believe that I am the resurrection and the life?”
Gardener said, “Yes,” and Smith then asked her, “Do you believe I can raise you from the dead?” to which she replied, “Yes.”
Smith allegedly responded, “Your blood has to be cleansed. I will have to cut your throat,” and Gardener reportedly said, “Yes”
Smith instructed Witness A to cut Gardner’s throat, but he declined.
Rudduck, it is alleged, walked over to Gardner, and cut her throat as she knelt before him. Smith allegedly told Ruddock to cut Gardner’s head off, saying she was a goat for sacrifice.
Ruddock, it is reported, did not carry out the order but instead ran out of the church.
He has been remanded and has been ordered by Justice Vinette Graham-Allen to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.