‘Beachy Stout’ trial stalled again
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The murder trial of businessman Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald and his co-accused Oscar Barnes in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston was once again stalled on Wednesday.
Reports are that two jurors can no longer participate in the matter.
It is expected that a new jury will be formed next week. The evidence that has already been presented will be heard again when the new jury comes in.
On Tuesday, just two days into the trial, it was disclosed that at least three jurors encountered challenges, causing delays as defence attorneys, prosecutors, and journalists waited for one juror to arrive in court.
That juror failed to show up.
When High Court Judge Chester Stamp arrived in court to preside over the case he was told that juror number four was absent, which made it difficult for him to proceed with the matter.
On Monday, during jury selection, two of the jurors who were selected to participate in the process presented challenges for the court. One of them reportedly refused to swear on the Bible or give an affirmation that he would be honest during the trial. According to him, swearing on the Bible goes against his religious beliefs.
Justice Stamp reportedly offered him another option, which was to make an affirmation. The juror refused, claiming that his belief was that an affirmation amounted to swearing. The other juror on Monday refused to swear on the Bible or cooperate otherwise.
Both of them, who were subsequently replaced, face punishment for refusing to take up their duties as jurors following numerous attempts by Justice Stamp and the clerk of court to have them comply.
McDonald and Barnes are being tried for the July 20, 2020 murder of Tonia McDonald. Her partially burnt body was found slumped beside her razed car along the Sherwood Forest main road in Portland with her throat slashed.