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Westmoreland rage - Residents chop, torch body of killer

Residents chop, torch body of security guard who murdered spouse, mom-in-law

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 11, 2011    

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FARM, Westmoreland — Angry residents yesterday hacked, then set ablaze the body of 25-year-old security guard Roche Tomlinson which was found in a banana field a day after he shot dead the mother of his two-week-old daughter and his mother-in-law.

"It look like him did dead, but the people dem still limb up the body," said one female resident who was among the large crowd on the scene after news broke that the body was discovered.

The fire was put out by police who responded quickly to news of the discovery of the body.

A gunshot wound to Tomlinson's right ear has led to speculation that he committed suicide. It was not clear if the gun was discovered with the corpse.

The body was said to have been found yesterday afternoon by a male resident just behind the house in which the women were killed on Saturday.

Residents said that Saturday, shortly after 9:00 am, Tomlinson, who also goes by the moniker 'Artley', and who lived in Savanna-la-Mar, went berserk and shot dead his spouse, 21-year-old Romona Roxborough, and her mother, 47-year-old Beverly Hamilton at their house in Farm district. During a visit to the premises yesterday, the Observer was told that Roxborough was at her mother's home grocery shop with her baby when Tomlinson turned up and demanded custody of the infant.

A heated argument developed between Roxborough and Tomlinson after she refused his demand.

During the argument, Hamilton, who was behind the shop counter, told Tomlinson to leave the premises.

"He came and made a demand for the child and after the demand was refused he got into a heated argument with his mother-in-law who reprimanded him for using indecent language," one family member told the Observer.

The security guard reportedly became enraged and threatened to call the police, but instead removed a gun from a bag he was carrying and went to the back of the shop where he shot Hamilton who was near the rear door trying to separate pieces of frozen meat.

The family member said that the security guard then went to the front of the shop where he shot his spouse, after prying the baby from her hands.

Residents said the infant's body was covered in her mother's blood.

After the savage attack Tomlinson reportedly chased his spouse's 11-year-old brother, Elton Hamilton, firing shots at him. He, however, escaped unhurt. But another male resident was not so lucky. He was shot and has since been admitted to hospital.

One of the bereaved members of Roxborough's family alleged that the couple had a strained relationship. She said even while Roxborough was in an advanced state of pregnancy, she was frequently beaten by Tomlinson. That, she claimed, was one of the reasons Roxborough left the home in which she was living with him in Savanna-la-Mar and returned to her parents' home in Farm district.

She also said that Roxborough recently received a text message from Tomlinson in which he threatened to kill her.

Yesterday, after the body was found, most persons who gathered near the banana field expressed satisfaction that Tomlinson was dead.

Meanwhile, the baby is said to be in the care of a family member.

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