Mon | Mar 8, 2021

Contract killer pleads guilty to murder, details St Andrew double killing

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2021 | 3:10 PM
Wade Blackwood, 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston today.

Livern Barrett/ Senior Reporter

A man who described for police investigators how Simone Campbell-Collymore, wife of popular businessman Omar ‘Best’ Collymore, screamed as he and a crony sprayed her taxi with bullets, has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder.

Wade Blackwood, 24, also pleaded guilty to two counts each of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston today.

Winston Walters, the owner and operator of the ill-fated taxi, was also shot to death in the January 2, 2018 attack at the entrance to Campbell-Collymore’s Forest Ridge apartment complex on Stanley Terrace, Red Hills.

A post-mortem revealed that Campbell-Collymore was shot 19 times and died from “multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, with injuries to the lung, liver and right kidney”.

Walters was shot five times and died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head, according to a post-mortem report cited in court documents.

The killing was captured on closed circuit television (CCTV), one of the factors that nudged Blackwood to plead guilty.

Video recordings and the quality of still images captured by the CCTV showed Blackwood approaching the front passenger side of the vehicle and firing into it, court documents from the case revealed.

Campbell-Collymore’s mother and sister fought back tears as they walked out of the courtroom moments before the video was being played in court.

Omar Collymore is among four other persons charged with his wife’s murder.

He was held in St Elizabeth months later attempting to leave the island via a boat.

Five months after the killing, on June 20, 2018, Blackwood detailed his involvement in a caution statement recorded by police investigators in the presence of two Justices of the Peace.

He recounted that on January 1, 2018, two men who he knew told him they had a “mission” to go on and asked if he wanted to come along.

The men’s names are being withheld.

Blackwood said he declined the offer, but indicated that his response did not go well with the men.

“She fi dead eh nuh,” he quoted both men as saying.

Blackwood said later that day he got what he suggested was a threatening telephone call from one of the men.

“Memba seh you bredda [borrow] man tings an yuh nuh pay fi it yet. So wait til me come back a different ting,” he quoted the man as saying.

He told investigators that on the day of the killing the men came back on two motorcycles. The confessed killer said he got on one of the motorcycles and they drove to the foot of Red Hills where they stopped to purchase gas.

He said one of the men made a telephone call then relayed to him that the Toyota Axio motorcar in which Campbell-Collymore was traveling was “coming up”.

According to Blackwood, they were joined by two other men, also on a motorcycle, and they all drove behind the taxi until it got to the gated apartment complex.

"[Name redacted] came off his bike and started firing shot in the driver side and me fire in the passenger side,” said the convicted killer.

He told investigators that as he fired into the car, he heard Campbell-Collymore screaming as the glass windows shattered around her.

He recalled handing back the murder weapon, a Glock pistol, to his friend and burning the clothes he was wearing.

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