News

Crime scene photos detail bloody July night in Lauriston

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
Senior staff reporter
dunkleywillisa@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, November 09, 2019

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CRIME scene photos showing the gruesome details of the night Joeith Lynch and her mother Charmaine Rattray were murdered and decapitated at their humble home at 46 Berry Drive in Lauriston, St Catherine, on July 19, 2011, were yesterday unveiled at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston during the trial of two of the murder accused, Sanjay Ducally and Kemar Riley.

The bright yellow painted exterior of the serene board and concrete structure, with its white doors and white framed windows, belied the grisly scenes within but for three tell-tale pairs of slippers scattered on the concrete steps leading up to the dwelling, and several spatters of blood which silently testified of the chaos that had reigned inside under the cover of darkness.

Rattray, 40, and her daughter, 18, were attacked by about eight or nine gunmen who invaded their home, acting on what the court has since been told were orders from “the general” for the women to be killed because they were 'informers' and had been dispensing information about the killing and decapitation of their neighbour, 18-year-old Scott Thomas, reportedly by his cronies from the feared Klansman Gang, just some hours before they themselves were killed.

The armed men kicked open the door to the home and chopped and shot the women multiple times. Their heads were then chopped off and dumped in separate places. On Monday, three of the five men held in connection to the crime pleaded guilty to non-capital murder moments before the trial was scheduled to begin, while Ducally and Riley pleaded not guilty. The Jamaica Observer understands that the other men said to have been involved in the crimes have since been killed.

Yesterday Ducally, dressed in a tropical-themed shirt, and co-accused Kemar Rile,y in a white striped shirt, paid rapt attention to the images on the multi-media screen from their perch in the docks. Ducally, for the most part, had his arms folded across his lower abdomen, one slightly elevated knee braced on the rails of the dock; Riley, hands draped between his legs, sat slightly forward.

Prosecutor Hodine Williams led the evidence as two witnesses aligned to the police force described to the court details in the photos. Yesterday no photos of the bodies of the women or their heads, which were recovered in the hours and days after the crimes, respectively, were shown to the court.

The scenes inside the dwelling, however, left no doubt as to the mayhem that had unfolded. The blood-splattered white fitted sheet and silken pink pillow cases on Rattray's bed in her room, which was to the front of the dwelling, was strewn with tufts of her hair; three spent shells were also seen on the bed. Her patterned white curtains were heavily stained with her blood as well as the wall alongside her bed; the flooring was also caked with her blood in parts, with two more spent shells lying there along with a bottle of lotion.

Captured shots of her only child's bloodied room, just beyond hers, showed the girl's dog hauntingly seated in the midst of the tumbled room, seemingly unfazed by the movements of the strangers – its youthful mistress gone. The blood-splattered deep red bed sheets, stamped with dirty shoe prints, told their own story; an overturned white plastic chair in one area which held a desktop computer on a table piled with books were all sprayed with blood. The wall beyond her bed was splattered from floor level to just below the ceiling with her blood. Two discarded blood-soaked plush toys lay upended in the area of the room where her body was discovered. A microwave oven stashed nearby her bed also bore marks of her blood.

Outside the humble dwelling investigators found blood marks leading to the rear and over the zinc fence, which showed signs of being broken down by the perpetrators and bore bloody palm prints as well. Drops of blood were also discovered on the narrow tracks outside the fence.

Rattray's missing head was discovered on July 21 floating in the Rio Cobre, some 300 feet away from where she had spent her final hours, while her daughter's decomposing head was found days afterwards in a gully just 50 feet away from the house they had lived, in sparking fear and outrage among citizenry.

The trial of the two is expected to last two weeks while the sentencing hearing of the other three accused is expected to take place on December 11 at 2:00 pm. The trial continues on Monday at 10:00 am.


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