Wed | Nov 30, 2022

‘Blood like rice grain’

Prosecutors outline Maitland’s alleged scheme to cover up murder

Published:Wednesday | October 5, 2022 | 12:16 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Vlogger Andre Stephens and other protesters are seen outside the Supreme Court building Tuesday while a hearing was under way into Constable Noel Maitland’s alleged murder of girlfriend Donna-Lee Donaldson.
Vlogger Andre Stephens and other protesters are seen outside the Supreme Court building Tuesday while a hearing was under way into Constable Noel Maitland’s alleged murder of girlfriend Donna-Lee Donaldson.
Noel Maitland and Donna-Lee Donaldson.
Noel Maitland and Donna-Lee Donaldson.
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In damning allegations drawing on DNA and video footage, prosecutors cast accused murderer Constable Noel Maitland as a calculated killer who schemed to clean up evidence linking him to the death of 23-year-old girlfriend Donna-Lee Donaldson. The...

In damning allegations drawing on DNA and video footage, prosecutors cast accused murderer Constable Noel Maitland as a calculated killer who schemed to clean up evidence linking him to the death of 23-year-old girlfriend Donna-Lee Donaldson.

The Home Circuit Court heard Tuesday how Maitland allegedly went to lengths to enlist the help of accomplices in ridding a couch of bloodstains prosecutors say was Donaldon’s.

Her body was never found.

The accused is said to have visited a hardware on Constant Spring Road on July 13 where he entered into contractual arrangements with a truck driver to transport the bloody couch from his Chelsea Avenue apartment to a car wash on Lyndhurst Road.

The couch, described by eyewitnesses as red or brown, was allegedly loaded on to the truck by Maitland and another man.

“Earlier that day, Mr Maitland had gone to the car wash and made enquiries about having his couch washed,” the prosecutor told the court.

Maitland allegedly told the female attendant at the car wash that his cousin had suffered an injury to his hand.

“It bleed out in a little part of the settee,” Maitland reportedly explained.

He allegedly suggested that bleach not be used as it would change the couch’s colour.

But the attendant was reportedly shocked at the stains, saying: “A whole heap o’ blood coming out the right side … . Jesus, this man must dead. Him bleed out or this come in like dem kill somebody inna this.”

Maitland allegedly supplied the attendant with three bottles of vinegar, which she claimed was to conceal the bloodstains and suppress the odour.

No sooner after Maitland allegedly partook of the cleaning himself, volumes of red water ran out, causing the attendant to say openly, “Blood like rice grain.”

The couch, swarmed by flies, was reportedly left at the car wash before the accused returned a day later along with accomplices and removed it to a location in downtown Kingston where it was found.

The movements were said to be captured on CCTV.

Maitland was slapped with an additional charge Tuesday of preventing the lawful burial of a corpse.

Prosecutors said also that Maitland pressed a neighbour to delete footage on the grounds that he had a spliff – a marijuana cigarette – which could jeopardise a job promotion. He reported admitted that a person he was with had been reported missing.

The neighbour refused to delete any recording, prosecutors told the court.

DNA on a toothbrush belonging to Donaldson reportedly matched forensic evidence from brown spots and bloodstains found on curtains and on a pair of sneakers at the apartment.

Cell site analysis also showed that Donaldson’s mobile phone was last located on the network on July 12 in the vicinity of Maitland’s Chelsea Avenue apartment. Technology also placed his cell phone at the same location at the same time, prosecutors revealed.

Christopher Townsend, Maitland’s attorney, questioned the claims of forensic material being found and accused the Crown of grasping at straws in seeking to ground its narrative on circumstantial evidence.

Townsend further asserted that on three occasions the forensic team did not find anything and that he was extremely suspicious of discoveries at the apartment.

“It is notorious that the police took several forensic teams to Mr Maitland’s apartment of which I know of and one that we have discovered. We are unaware on which occurrence the blood was said to be discovered there,” Townsend said.

“We do not know the age of this blood, when it got there … . The quantities of which we do not know … . The young lady is not unknown to those premises,” he added.

The attorney said that the substance which the witness said ran out of the couch was not tested and could have been red dye.

“Since they can’t say that it is blood, then it is not blood,” he told the packed courthouse.

Justice Vinette Graham-Allen told the court that she will rule on the bail application come October 13.

Maitland was further remanded until then.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com