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Chaotic send-off for slain Manchester teen

Angry relatives stage walkout at funeral service

Alicia Sutherland

Tuesday, January 07, 2014    

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LITITZ, Manchester — A solemn occasion to bid farewell to slain Manchester teen Kimberly Simpson on Sunday turned chaotic after several of her paternal relatives walked out of the thanksgiving service — angry that Simpson's father was not acknowledged in the eulogy.

The send-off for the 18-year-old, who was chopped to death in November allegedly by the father of her two-year-old son, was held at the Lititz Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester. Her death drew national attention following an eight-hour stand-off between the police and angry residents who were bent on exacting revenge on her alleged killer.

However, on Sunday it was a dispute between her paternal and maternal relatives that sparked the disturbance.

While the eulogy was being read, there was an uproar which was followed by the walkout — halting the funeral proceedings.

It took several attempts from Constable Oral Williams of the Santa Cruz Police Station and church officials to restore some amount of calm to allow the service to continue.

A relative of Simpson's father told the Jamaica Observer afterwards that the reading of the eulogy was interrupted "because disregard was shown for her father as his name was not mentioned".

With pleas from Constable Williams and church officials, some of the upset relatives took their seats back in the church, while others stayed outside the building for the remainder of the service.

They also refused to go to Simpson's final resting place at the family plot in Content District, where she lived with her maternal grandmother.

Simpson was chopped to death on November 29, allegedly at the hands of Rohan Thomas, following stories of carnal abuse and domestic violence.

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