‘Charge mi nuh’
Portland businessman Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald allegedly told a police detective who had informed him that he was being charged with murder and conspiracy to murder, that the cop was free to do what he wanted to do, but insisted that he was not guilty of the crime.
McDonald is on trial in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston for the July 20, 2020 murder of his wife Tonia McDonald. He is being tried jointly with Oscar Barnes.
In court on Thursday, a detective sergeant from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Major Investigations Division, who is the lead investigator in the case, told the seven-member jury that when he advised the businessman that he would be charged, his response was, “Okay, charge mi nuh. Mi never do anything of that sort”.
McDonald and Barnes were both charged on August 18, 2020, according to the lead investigator.
“On August 18, 2020 at the Cross Roads Police Station, I cautioned Mr Barnes and he made no comment. I informed him that his charges were in relation to the murder of Tonia McDonald. I subsequently went to the Lawrence Tavern Police Station the same day, where I informed Mr McDonald that he was charged with murder and conspiracy to murder,” the cop said.
A third man, Denvalyn “Bubbla” Minott, was implicated in the murder and was charged for his role as the contractor. Minott, however, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 19-year and 10-month prison sentence for his involvement. He turned prosecution witness against McDonald and Barnes.
After the murder, Minott confessed to being the person allegedly contracted by McDonald for a sum of $3 million, to carry out the hit. However, he alleged that he sub-contracted the murder to Barnes who completed the job.
In court on Thursday, the lead detective read for the jury and presiding Judge Chester Stamp a statement that Barnes allegedly gave to him after he was cautioned by the policeman, who alleged that he had informed Barnes that he was not obliged to say anything unless he wished to do so.
He claimed that Barnes proceeded to speak on his own accord anyway, even with his attorney not being present.
“After I cautioned him at the Cross Roads Police Station, he said, ‘Mi coulda save ‘Sassy’ (Tonia McDonald’s nickname). Mi know somebody did a go dead. Even Thursday before she dead, mi deh a di same spot where you picked me up, and him (Minott) circle mi and said he want two 9mm guns to buy. Mi seh to him seh a Manchioneal dem things deh deh. Mi nuh know him and him nuh know me neither. Him seh a Annotto Bay him come from and right deh so, him start fi squeal out everything.’
According to the detective, Barnes continued, saying, “Him seh, one a di gun fi di man and one a di gun a fi di woman [Tonia]. Mi go so, boom, and a black car come and the car tint. While we deh deh, the female weh him seh him a buy di gun fa, called him and asked if him get through and him tell her seh him a deal wid it. One man a call him every minute. It did come een like Bubbla was afraid of him, to how him did a talk to him. Him was like a boy.
“Him seh a man a give him $1 million to kill his wife and he has two more contracts like that to deal with. He was saying that me and him can go deal with it. Him seh the girl cannot get no gunshot and him pull out a knife out him waist and said it was to cut her throat. I told him that him can’t do that in the man dem place. The was about one ruler length. When him reach Port Antonio, a white car picked him up in the town and that was it.”
The trial continues today.