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Murder matters for alleged serial killer to be brought back November 9

Published:Monday | September 25, 2023 | 12:05 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


The St James Parish Court has scheduled November 9 as the next court date for Ronaldo Ricketts, the St James man who has been charged with murder in relation to the killing of four homeless people across Montego Bay, following the matter’s first court mention last Wednesday.

Presiding Parish Judge Sasha-Marie Ashley set the new date to coincide with the next scheduled return date for Ricketts, who was not present on Wednesday, as he will be brought back to court at that time in relation to other charges.

“We are setting it for November 9, because his other matters come back then. He is not here today because he is currently at the medical unit of the St Catherine Adult Remand Centre,” Ashley noted concerning Ricketts.

The accused man, who is also charged with forcible abduction and attempted rape, was subjected to a previous order from the court on September 13 that he should undergo a psychiatric evaluation at the St Catherine Adult Remand Centre.

Concerning the murder charges, the court was told on Wednesday that several items are outstanding from the prosecution’s case file, including post-mortem reports, a forensic analysis of the knife allegedly used in the killings, closed-circuit television footage, and a question-and-answer document. It was also disclosed that there are two different investigators in the matter, both of whom were absent from court.

Ashley also ordered that enquiries be made into the present state of a motor vehicle that was reportedly seized from Ricketts at the time of his arrest, following a request from his attorney, Henry McCurdy.

Ricketts was arrested by the police on August 30 in relation to the charges of abduction and attempted rape, following allegations that he picked up the complainant along Humber Avenue in downtown Montego Bay and drove her to Melville Hall Avenue before pulling a knife and demanding sex from her.

The woman managed to escape from the car and screamed for help, getting the attention of nearby police officers who were on patrol at the time. Ricketts was subsequently detained and taken into custody by the officers.

It is further alleged that while he was in custody for that incident, Ricketts confessed to the killings of five homeless people and the wounding of two others, which took place in sections of Montego Bay between July 28 and August 20 this year. It is understood that all the victims were stabbed with a sharp instrument while they were sleeping.

The first two victims, both unidentified and both found on July 28, were a woman, whose body was discovered on Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, and a man, whose body was found on Barnett Street. Following those killings, a man identified only as ‘Junior Cross’ was stabbed on July 30 and was taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on August 18.

On August 9, 20-year-old Leonardo Lewis, otherwise called ‘Raheem’ or ‘Ackeem’, of a Breadfruit Road, Catherine Hall address, was found with stab wounds by residents along Church Lane, and was later pronounced dead.

On August 19, an unidentified man was found with stab wounds on St Clavers Avenue, but survived the incident. The following day, another man was attacked in front of the Barnett Street Police Station but survived, while the last victim, Ken Warren, subsequently died.