Accused quintuple killer Rushane Barnett gets legal aid
Rushane Barnett, who is accused of killing a mother and her four children in Clarendon last week, is pictured being escorted to a waiting police vehicle outside the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Senior Counsel Tamika Harris has been appointed by the Legal Aid Counsel of Jamaica to represent Clarendon quintuple murder accused Rushane ‘Jett’ Barnett when his case is mentioned in the Home Circuit Court on July 28.

Barnett was advised of Harris’ appointment by Justice Leighton Pusey by video Thursday when he appeared before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court. Pusey presided over the case virtually from the Home Circuit Court.

According to Pusey, the severity of the case meant that a senior counsel had to be appointed for Barnett. The latter, on Tuesday, during his first hearing, had advised the court that he was in the process of acquiring legal representation.

Pusey told Barnett that Harris’ appointment would last until he gets a suitable attorney.

In the meantime, Barnett's next hearing was pushed back from July 22 to July 28. Judge Pusey granted the request after a submission by Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Andrea Martin-Swaby.

According to Martin-Swaby, the additional time will further accommodate the psychiatric evaluation of Barnett, which is needed for the case to move forward.

Pusey advised Barnett that the law requires a psychiatric evaluation because of the severity of the case and the fact that the crown is seeking the death penalty.

Barnett is accused of killing his cousin Kimeisha Wright, 31 and her four children Kimanda Smith, 15; Shara-Lee Smith, 10; Rafaella Smith, five; and 23-month-old Kishawn Henry.

Allegations are that Barnett slashed the throats and inflicted stab wounds on the victims on the night of June 20 in Cocoa Piece District, Clarendon.

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