Thu | Jun 30, 2022

Accused mastermind in Roger Chang murder remanded

Exotic dancer, auto repairman get life

Published:Saturday | May 21, 2022 | 12:12 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter

The alleged robbery-turned-murder plot mastermind, whose girlfriend and uncle were convicted in the same scheme for the murder of businessman Roger Chang, is to return to the St Mary Circuit Court on July 14.

The accused, Gaveen Hurd, who hails from Kingston, has been remanded on charges of murder illegal possession of firearm and robbery with aggravation.

He is among six persons implicated in the deadly scheme, five of whom have pleaded guilty and were sentenced by Justice Stephane Jackson-Haisley. However, he is yet to be arraigned.

Hurd’s girlfriend, Khadeisha McKenzie, an exotic dancer, and his uncle, Ceebert Duggan, an auto repairman, who both pleaded guilty to murder, were sentenced to life in prison and will both have to serve more than 20 years before the possibility of parole.

They were sentenced by Justice Stephane Jackson-Haisley after they entered guilty pleas between April 7 and May 20.

McKenzie pleaded guilty to the capital offence in the St Mary Home Circuit Court and was ordered to serve 22 years and six months before being eligible for parole, while Duggan pleaded guilty to murder in the Home Circuit Court and was ordered to serve 24 years and six month before being eligible for parole.

McKenzie was also sentenced to 12 months each on a charges of acquiring criminal property and illegal possession of firearm, 13 years for robbery with aggravation and two and a half years for unauthorised access to computer data. However, those sentences are to run simultaneously with the life sentence.

Duggan was also sentenced to 13 years and six months for illegal possession of firearm and 13 years for robbery with aggravation after pleading guilty to both charges. His sentences will also run concurrently to the life sentence.

Three other conspirators – Ludlow Cousins, Jamar Jackson and Derrique Reid, who were minors at the time of the murder – also pleaded guilty in the St Mary Home Circuit Court.

Cousins was sentenced to eight years and two months for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition and eight years and 10 months for robbery with aggravation.

Jackson was handed eight years and four months for robbery with aggravation and seven years and nine months for illegal possession of firearm.

Reid was slapped with nine years and 11 months. respectively, for illegal possession of firearm and robbery with aggravation; four years and 11 months for unauthorised access to computer data; and seven years and 11 months for acquiring criminal property.

The sentences for all three convicts will also run concurrently, hence they will only serve the longest of all their sentences.

Body Found on beach

Chang, 62, went missing on March 2020 and was found dead the following day on a beach in Dover, St Mary, with multiple stab wounds to his torso.

The court heard that Chang and the then-25-year-old exotic dancer met on Tinder, a dating app, and subsequently met on several occasions.

On the day he went missing, Chang had travelled with McKenzie to a river in Enfield, St Mary, for a date. At some point before his trip, a plan was hatched to rob him.

The court heard that while Chang was at the river with McKenzie, he was held up and robbed by the three then minors, one of whom was armed with a firearm.

During the robbery, the other two male accused happened on the scene and a decision was made to kill Chang because he had seen their faces.

However, the court heard that Jackson, Reid and Cousins objected and left after they had robbed Chang of his debit card and had withdrew $100,000 and shared it up among themselves. Chang was also robbed of his car and cell phone.

McKenzie, Duggan and Hurd then allegedly transported Chang to the beach where he was murdered.

It is alleged that both men did the stabbing.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn commended the St Mary Criminal Investigation Branch for their investigation.

Llewellyn said that the investigators had collected DNA samples of the female from a mask that was found at the murder scene and DNA sample for Duggan was also found in Chang’s car.

The DPP said that DNA evidence, coupled with the caution statements from all five convicts, had created a strong case for the prosecution. As such, she was able to quickly marshal the case to a speedy conclusion after the prosecutor in the parish court had told her about the evidence and had sought her guidance and she, in return, placed the matter in the high court via a nolle prosequi and had mature discussions with the defence lawyers.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com