Damning Beachy Stout tapes tendered as evidence in murder trial
THE controversial Samsung A31 cellular phone which was used to record more than 120 phone calls between Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald and Denvalyn “Bubbla” Minott, was entered into evidence in the Home Circuit Court in downtown, Kingston, on Friday during the murder trial of Beachy Stout and his co-accused, Oscar Barnes.
Certificates from the Communication Forensics and Cybercrime Division (CFCD) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were also tendered into evidence.
Beachy Stout and Barnes are on trial for the July 20, 2020 murder of Tonia McDonald, who was Beachy Stout’s second wife. It is alleged that Beachy Stout conspired with Bubbla to have his wife murdered. The businessman allegedly promised to give Bubbla $3 million to stab Tonia and cut her throat. According to Bubbla, who confessed to being the contractor, Oscar Barnes was the person to whom he sub-contracted the job. Bubbla, who received a 19-year and 10-month prison sentence for his role, told the court that Barnes was the one who physically killed Tonia, while he stood by watching.
Tonia’s partially burned body was found on the main road in Sherwood Forest, Portland, on July 20, 2020 beside the fully burned Toyota Axio motor vehicle she was driving. Bubbla claimed that Barnes was the person responsible for torching the car after Tonia was killed.
During his testimony in the trial on Thursday a JCF detective sergeant, who is the lead investigator into the murder of Tonia, told the seven-member jury and Judge Chester Stamp that on August 3, 2020 he received the phone allegedly belonging to Bubbla, took it to the CFCD department, and made a request to the investigators there.
“I was given a receipt. I placed it in storage at the Major Investigations Division [MID] office. A detective constable analysed the phone. I met with him during the investigations. We met on more than one occasion doing reviews on matter. He and I usually met at his office or at the Criminal Investigations Branch Headquarters and the Port Royal Police Station. We also met with the owner of the phone. The owner is Denvalyn Minott.
“Mr Minott used his thumbprint to unlock the telephone, and he scrolled to an area on the phone where he had certain storage information. I observed that there were several voice communications. Mr Minott played one of the conversations. I then recorded a statement from him,” the detective sergeant told the court.
The detective sergeant on Thursday detailed what took place and what he found during searches conducted as part of the investigations.
“On September 30, 2020 I made an application in the Portland Parish Court by way of affidavit. I requested two search warrants under Section 18 of the Cybercrimes Act 2015; these warrants were attained to conduct searches at Mary Shine Enterprise and another location. On October 1, 2020 I was armed with two search warrants and myself, along with a team of officers from MID and CFCD, proceeded to Port Antonio.
“Mary Shine is a supermarket business at 8 William Street in Port Antonio, Portland. It is a two-storey building. The upper floor is where Everton McDonald’s main office area is, which was shared with his secretaries and other employees. The upper floor also housed a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and a store room. On October 1, 2020 upon arrival I executed the search warrant on two secretaries; a justice of the peace was there. We conducted a search of the upper floor. One of the secretaries used a combination to open one vault and a key to open the other. We checked the entire floor,” the detective sergeant told the court.
During a search of a desk drawer inside Beachy Stout’s office the policeman said he found a screw-covered bottle with the label Mountain Peak Coffee on it. However, the bottle did not contain coffee, according to the detective, but had an unknown liquid substance inside it.