KINGSTON, Jamaica – The first witness in the Home Circuit Court murder trial of Portland businessman Everton 'Beachy Stout' McDonald and his co-accused, Oscar Barnes, said on Tuesday that 'madman' was one of the nicknames given to his former boss, Beachy Stout.
McDonald and Barnes are charged with the July 20, 2020 murder of Tonia McDonald, who was Beachy Stout's second wife. Tonia's partially burnt body was found slumped beside her razed motor vehicle on the Sherwood Forest main road in Portland. Her throat was slashed.
"I call him Mr Mac. Sometimes, I call him 'Mad Man'. Other people called him 'Stout' or Mr Shine," he said.
The witness, who had been an employee at Stout’s supermarket in Portland, painted the picture of his former boss being a jealous man who sometimes spoke about wanting to murder people. He claimed that McDonald was overly controlling of Tonia.
"'Sassy' was the name I called her. One year, Mr McDonald was not in the island and when he came back in the morning, I heard him saying to her up by the office, "You need to let go off the name Sassy. That name is not a part of you. You are Mrs Mac. You are the boss now, so act like a boss. At the front of the shop he said, 'If I hear anyone of you call her Sassy, I will fire you'. Mr Mac and I would reason in the evenings when the shop closed and he would talk to me about what was going on in the shop or what he would hear on the streets,” the witness recalled.
"He would say, 'How you never tell me seh Tonia have man'? We would talk about who him ago kill and shoot. He always said him nuh drink him coffee hot. Him seh him wait till it cool. He would ask if I felt Tonia was keeping another man. I told him I didn't know," added the witness.
According to the witness, Beachy Stout and Tonia looked loving and happy in the early years of their relationship but claimed the happiness between them fluctuated.
"This minute they are happy. The next minute they are arguing. I was there during some of their arguments. Sometimes the argument is about her having a next man. Sometimes he would argue with her to put interest in the business. Sometimes he would tell her to stop arguing with the cashiers and start acting like a boss. He would argue with her about her writing cheques without his knowledge. Sometimes he would say, 'Tonia, where you coming from?' he said.
"Around 2015 or 2016, I noticed her body language changed and her face was dragging. Normally when she came to the shop, she would say good morning everybody. Some mornings she'd be happy and some mornings she came in dry without saying anything. Sometimes I noticed that they would not be together often, hugging and looking down on the business or talking. In 2019, the relationship was already rocky. Most of the nights when the shop closed or when I went upstairs, I heard him arguing with her about having man and how every time she leave the business and gone," he continued.
The witness claimed he saw Tonia come to the office with her face swollen and that on different occasions, Beachy Stout would destroy cellular phones belonging to her.
"He grabbed her head and slam it in the wall. She was looking about lodgement and she had the phone on the counter. I heard him shout at her to put down the phone and do the lodgement. He pushed out his chair, went over to her and grabbed it up. She grabbed it back from him. He took the phone and said, 'this is all you pay attention to' and he smashed it out," the witness claimed, adding that the situation caused her to tell her husband at that point that she was going home because was was tired of the treatment,” the witness told the court.
According to the witness, when she took up her things to leave the office, Beachy Stout allegedly told her to go on and get out of his life.
"She took up her handbag and left," the witness claimed.
"He said he didn't want her in his sight. He built an office for her and she went up there, out of his sight. He would take away her phone and confine her to the shop. He would come there sometimes in the night and argue with her to leave those careless friends who she was texting and calling, which caused her to leave the shop. He said, 'mi nuh tell you seh mi nuh want to see you a talk to that girl? All she does is give you man before she go about her business," he added.
The trial continues on Wednesday morning.
Beachy Stout is being represented by attorneys-at-law Earl Hamilton, Courtney Rowe, Christopher Townsend and John Jacobs, while Earnest Davies is representing Barnes.