Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Pathways accused seeks return of documents

Published:Friday | November 12, 2021 | 12:11 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Andre Ruddock arrives at the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on Thursday. Ruddock is charged with the murder of 39-year-old Taneka Gardner at the Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in Montego Bay, St James, on October 17, 2021.

The defence for Pathways International murder accused Andre Ruddock was yesterday instructed to officially write to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) to enquire whether his wallet could be returned to him, following a request yesterday.

Ruddock is charged with the murder of 39-year-old Taneka Gardner, who was killed during an October 17 ritual at the Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in St James.

Ruddock, through his attorney, Anthony Williams, made the request in the Home Circuit Court, saying that the wallet contained personal items, which had no bearing on the murder case.

“The application I wish to make this morning is that the accused man informed me that his wallet, with important identification cards in it, his driver's licence, national identification card and his licence that he has with RADA – the Rural Agricultural Development Authority – are in the custody and possession of the police. We do not think, My Lady, that these will form part of the Crown's [case].”

Justice Vinette Graham-Allen told the defence to write to the Crown to resolve that issue.

“Write to the DPP and you deal with the DPP with that. I don't know if it forms a part [of the case]. She has all information. She will determine whether those documents can be released. I don't know,” Graham-Allen told Williams.

He then sought to verbally make a request through the prosecution representative on hand; however, Graham-Allen would not have it done any other way.

“Put it in writing, and I am going to make that order. It must be in writing to the director of public prosecutions, and you ask that if it is not going to form part of the evidence, then you're asking that it be returned by the police, the director can do that,” Graham-Allen said.

She soon after made the order.

The 37-year-old Ruddock, who was yesterday attired in a grey suit and a pair of crocs, appeared much calmer than he did during the first court sitting.

He was seen having word with his attorney before the start of yesterday's session and afterwards, unlike at the previous sitting.

Certified butchers

On the last occasion, the court heard that Ruddock and another man were in charge of 17 goats, three cows, and other animals that were being housed on the church grounds. Checks by The Gleaner with the St James Public Health Department revealed that Ruddock was not among the list of 22 certified butchers.

Kevin Smith, the now-deceased leader of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, died in a three-vehicle collision on October 25, along with Constable Orlando Irons.

On the fateful night, Ruddock was reportedly called the 'Archangel Gabriel', and, along with another man, handed knives and commanded to cut Gardner's throat. It is alleged that only Ruddock carried through on Smith's order as the other man declined.

The court yesterday also made an order for Ruddock to undergo a forensic psychiatric evaluation and a report to be submitted by December 3.

“Should there be an associated cost for having this forensic psychiatric evaluation done, then the defence counsel is to write to the Legal Aid Council to ascertain whether the Legal Aid Council can undertake the cost involved in having the examination done and the report submitted as ordered by the court,” the judge said.

The matter is set for mention on December 7.