Wed | Nov 30, 2022

September 2023 trial date set for businessman 'Beachy Stout'

Published:Thursday | October 6, 2022 | 1:06 PM
Everton was remanded in custody while Barnes' bail was extended. - File photo

Portland businessman Everton 'Beachy Stout' McDonald, who is charged for the murder of his second wife, is to be tried on September 18, 2023.

His co-accused, Oscar Barnes, will also stand trial on that date.

The trial date was agreed during a plea and case management hearing in the Home Circuit Court Thursday morning.

A June 16 trial readiness hearing was also scheduled.

The judge and jury trial, which is expected to last seven weeks, will see the prosecution calling 25 witnesses.

The court also heard that McDonald intends to call seven witnesses while Barnes plans to call one witness as well as testify in his own defence.

The prosecution is to disclose the indictment dated January 29, 2021, to the defence on or before October 7.

Everton was remanded in custody while Barnes' bail was extended.

McDonald is jointly charged with Barnes for the July 20, 2020, murder of the businessman's second wife Tonia Hamilton-McDonald. 

Tonia's partially burnt body was found with the throat slashed beside her burnt car along the Sherwood Forest main road.

Another man, Denvalyn Minott, said to be the contract killer, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 19 years in prison. 

Minott, in a witness statement, claimed that he was offered $3 million by McDonald to kill his wife. 

In the meantime, a date for the other matter in which McDonald is alleged to have murdered his first wife, Merlene,  has not yet been settled.

However, the prosecution and the defence are to meet to decide the length and mode of the trial. They are also to explore if there are statements that can be agreed.

A case management hearing was subsequently set for January 25, 2024.

Merlene was shot dead outside her home in Boundbrook, Portland, in May 2009.

It is alleged that McDonald paid a police detective to kill his wife after their marriage crumbled and she left the matrimonial home. 

- Tanesha Mundle

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