Voice made me kill
Man charged with murder of Jamaican-Canadian couple faces courtFriday, May 07, 2021
BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
Fabian Skervin, one of the two accused charged in the murder of a Jamaican-Canadian couple in Retreat, St Thomas, just over two years ago, has claimed that he killed the couple on the advice of one of two voices he had heard in his head.
Melbourne Flake, 81, and his 70-year-old wife Etta were found dead at their vacation home on January 9, 2018. Flake was observed to have sustained head wounds, while his wife was said to have been suffocated.
Following investigations, Skervin, a farmer of Tulip Road and Soho district, both in Seaforth, and his female companion were picked up at a house in Seaforth Housing Scheme in St Thomas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 and subsequently charged with two counts of murder and robbery with aggravation each.
In July 2018, the case was transferred to the St Thomas Circuit Court.
Skervin, reportedly in a caution statement, disclosed that two inner voices spoke to him with one telling him to 'kill' and the other saying 'no'. He said the voice that said 'kill' was stronger than the other.
When the matter came up for mention on Wednesday this week before Justice Martin Gayle, attorneys for Skervin indicated that their client had been medically examined by a psychiatrist and found to be suffering from schizophrenia and hallucinations. The psychiatrist was, however, not of the view that Skervin was insane at the time of the commission of the offence.
Skervin's defence team, led by senior counsel Anthony Williams, assisted by Julian Bailey, have however requested leave to engage the services of a forensic psychiatrist to conduct an independent review of that assessment.
The defence intends to plead “diminished responsibility” which, if successful, will see Skervin answering to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Diminished responsibility holds that an accused person should be absolved of part of the liability for his/her criminal act if he/she suffers from an abnormality of mind which substantially impairs his/her responsibility in committing or being party to a crime.
Prosecutors, in the meantime, are pressing for Skervin to answer to murder.
Allegations before the court are that Skervin, who was employed by the couple as a handyman, had some knowledge of the premises. It is alleged that following the incident the then 25-year-old, using the couple's bank cards, went on a spending spree with a wedding ring among the purchases.
The matter will once again come up for mention next week Thursday for a plea and case management hearing.
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