Two charged with security guards' murders

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, July 17, 2012    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — A security guard, who was formerly employed by Guardsman Limited, is among two persons who were on Saturday afternoon charged with last month's murder of three security guards at the Guardsman Limited office in Sheffield, Westmoreland.

The two — both of Tulsie Lane, Three Miles River in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland — have been named by the police as 20-year-old security guard Kevon Smith and 22-year-old welder Jason Butland.

They are charged with three counts of murder, larceny, robbery with aggravation and arson and are scheduled to appear in the Savanna-la-Mar Resident's Magistrate court today.

The men are charged for the murders of 33-year-old Bryan Morris, of Station Road, Little London, Westmoreland; 40-year-old Sylvia Beckford of Whitehouse, also in Westmoreland; and 31-year-old Judith McCauley, of Cardwell District in Green Island.

An impeccable Jamaica Observer source close to the case, said that Smith and Butland were charged after being interviewed in the presence of their respective attorneys.

The police have established robbery as the motive for the deadly attack.

"Their motive was to rob the facility of firearms and debit cards. They were of the view that debit cards with unlimited (amounts of money) were in the building, but this is not so," the source alleged.

The attackers, who reportedly ensnared, then tortured Morris — who drove the company's minibus onto the premises late the night of Thursday, June 28 — convinced the two female guards locked inside the facility to allow him entrance on the basis that Morris had been hit by a vehicle, and they obliged.

The accused also allegedly admitted that upon gaining entry to the building, they tortured the guards to elicit the pin numbers to their debit cards, before killing them.

One of the debit cards was subsequently used to withdraw cash from an ABM machine.

The mutilated bodies of the guards were discovered by a supervisor who reported for work early on the morning of Friday, June 29. They had multiple stab wounds, while one of the females had a gunshot wound. Morris, who reportedly also worked as a tourism courtesy corps officer, was found with his two hands handcuffed behind him.

The missing minibus, which was driven by Morris, was discovered that same day in bushes in Farm Pen, in the parish. It had been burnt out.

The accused were among the three persons, including a female juvenile who were taken into custody following a police operation in Three Miles River, during which three guns, including two which were taken from the slain security guards, were recovered. Items, including credit and debit cards, and cellular phones belonging to the slain guards were also recovered during the operation by the Westmoreland investigators.

Two men who police detained the very morning of the gruesome discovery have since been released

Minister of National Security Peter Bunting was among several persons who have commended the Westmoreland police for working assiduously to solve the case.



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