Wed | Jun 7, 2023

Sleuths probe link between murders, reported hit list for cow, goat thieves

Published:Friday | January 13, 2023 | 1:04 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Superintendent Carlos Russell proving an update on policing in the Clarendon during Thursday’s meeting of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation.
Superintendent Carlos Russell proving an update on policing in the Clarendon during Thursday’s meeting of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation.

The Clarendon police are investigating the connection between the murder of two men in the Rhymesbury and Comfort communities in the parish last Friday and an alleged plot to kill accused praedial thieves in the area.

The disclosure was made by Superintendent Carlos Russell, the commanding officer of the Clarendon Police Division, as he gave a report during Thursday’s monthly sitting of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation.

“This year, we started with a few issues, especially in the Four Paths area. We had two murders in that area, that is, the Rhymesbury and Comfort space. There seems to be some issues in that space. There has always been a cow-stealing ring operating in that space, and it appears that there’s some dispute, and based on our intel, there is some contract out to kill some goat and cow thieves in that area,” said Russell, adding that the police would continue to work to combat the woes in the area.

In the first incident last Friday, the police report that 25-year-old Nicholas Williams, also known as Marvin, a farmer of Comfort district, was shot dead along the Comfort main road about 9:30 a.m.

Williams was reportedly riding a bicycle when men travelling in a silver Toyota Mark X motor car shot him several times before escaping.

Williams was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Hours later, the police were called to another scene in the neighbouring community of Rhymesbury, where two men were shot, one fatally.

The deceased has been identified as Nicardo Reid, also known as ‘Bugo’, a 23-year-old labourer of Rhymesbury.

Police reports are that about 2:15 p.m., Reid and another man were in a pasture tending to a herd of cattle when they were attacked by three men armed with handguns.

The gunmen reportedly chased the men and opened gunfire, hitting both of them. Reid died on the spot, the police said.

Last year, Clarendon recorded 92 murders – a 13 per cent decrease when compared to 106 homicides in 2021.

According to Russell, some 57 per cent of murder cases last year were solved.

Although the murder toll is the lowest since 2014, Russell said the police were still not comfortable.

“Ninety-two murders is far too many murders for a parish like Clarendon. As a matter of fact, it’s too many murders for Jamaica as a whole,” he said.

Referencing the murder of 47-year-old Givonnoi Parkinson of Park Hall in the parish on Monday, the commanding officer also stressed the need for better conflict resolution.

Omar ‘Dippy’ Willis, a farmer of said community, has been charged with Parkinson’s murder.

Clarendon also saw a 24 per cent decrease in shootings last year, ending with 60 incidents, compared to 79 in 2021.