Tuesday 25 September, 2018

St Ann family convicted of group murder of mentally-challenged man

A St Ann family of five was on Thursday convicted of the brutal murder of a 29-year-old mentally-challenged man, Stanley McLean, 10 years ago, at the victim’s home in Coltart Grove in the parish.

A seven-member jury returned the guilty verdict inside the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston against 65-year-old Velma Deans, her husband, Joseph, and their three adult sons – Dwight, Richard and Jermaine.

During the trial which started last month, Velma Deans was described as the ringleader. On hearing the verdict, she wept uncontrollably. Dwight also broke down in tears, while the others stood stoned-faced.

The main prosecution witness was McLean’s father, Audley. The elderly man told the court how Velma led her family to his son’s house and stated her intention to kill him after accusing him of removing a piece of electrical wire from her house.

Audley told the court how two of Velma’s sons rained stones upon the two-room unfinished house, smashing windows and doors in the process, before Velma entered and inflicted several chop wounds to various parts of Stanley’s body, which was then tied by the feet and dragged from the building.

The attorney representing the family, Ernest Smith, described the verdict a travesty of justice, and indicated his intention to appeal the decision.