Lawyer says ‘Slickianna’ murder-accused client in danger
MONTEGO BAY, St James — In making a strong case for her client to be released from custody, attorney-at-law Dionne Meyler Barrett has suggested that Rushawn Patterson, the man charged with the murder of popular social media influencer Aneka “Slickianna” Townsend, was in danger while in custody.
Meyler Barrett, who made the claim in the St James Circuit Court on Tuesday, also revealed that a medical report was presented to the Crown regarding the health condition of her client.
She made the bail application on two grounds, humanitarian and based on what she said was a weakness of the Crown’s case.
“Since Mr Patterson has been in custody, he was seen on numerous occasions both at the Cornwall Regional Hospital and a private doctor who was told to come to the cell to see him because of the condition that he was in…,” stated Meyler Barrett.
“Adding to that milady, is the fact that he is in danger in custody and this is because milady, just recently a report had to be made that the porridge was found to contain pieces of glass,” revealed Meyler Barrett, who said the discovery was made after he took a few sips.
However, the Crown, in arguing against the bail, told the court that among other reasons that Patterson is a flight risk and based on his history, if given bail, he may not show up for court.
The Crown was referring to a dialogue the police had with Patterson in which he was advised to turn himself into the police with his lawyer, but he failed to do so.
The Crown also told Justice Andrea Thomas that Patterson has another case in court in the parish of St Andrew. That case has to do with an alleged abduction of a woman in 2018. Patterson was denied bail in that matter.
The Crown also claimed that following a Q&A session, Patterson, in the presence of two lawyers, returned and confessed to the killing, claiming, “Mi did afraid a Rose because him ah ex-soldier. So, mi ah talk up now.”
He was making reference to Rohan “Early B” Rose, who is a co-accused in the case. Rose, who is on $500,000 bail, will go to trial on April 26. He is charged with misprision of felony. This means he is accused of knowing about the matter but failing to notify the authorities.
But Meyler Barrett, who is Patterson’s new lawyer, said her client denies making any confessions. She also took issue with a section of the Crown’s claim.
“I was taken by surprise when I heard things being said here today and so I will need the opportunity to talk with my client to establish under what circumstances a Q&A could be finished can you leave a room and turn back to allow the officers to write all of that and then he signed to it,” stated Meyler Barrett.
She also took issue with claims made by the Crown that Patterson has the tendency to be violent against women, claiming he has no previous conviction.
However, Justice Thomas, in denying bail, did not agree with some of the claims made. She pointed to conflicting information that Patterson reportedly gave the police surrounding the whereabouts of Townsend prior to her body being found.
“In my view, the allegations of the Crown are serious enough and sufficient enough to form the view that, if granted bail, the accused man will not return. At this time, bail is denied,” stated Justice Thomas.
Justice Thomas before giving Patterson a September 21 court return date was satisfied by the police in a live video link that they will be able to take care of his medical condition while in custody.
This date was suggested by the Crown who claimed that there are outstanding documents. Among the documents are DNA and post-mortem reports.
Townsend’s scantily-clad body was retrieved from the sea in Reading, St James, on October 21.
On November 11, the police stated that Townsend travelled from Kingston to Montego Bay where she was picked up by Patterson at approximately 7:30 pm on October 20. During the evening, they visited a restaurant in Hanover and a guest house in St James.
At some point during the night, an argument reportedly developed between them. Patterson is accused of strangling Townsend and disposing of her body.
Patterson was named as a person of interest on October 22. He was picked up at a guest house in Hanover by a police Area One operational team on November 2 after missing at least two deadlines to turn himself in.