Nobody saw death of Islington woman coming
Eldest child, family, friends bemused by violent actionSunday, May 19, 2013
ISLINGTON, St Mary — Just over two years ago, one woman from this north-eastern Jamaican parish survived being shot by her policeman husband, to tell the story of their rocky relationship.
Joan Brown, then 38 years old, was shot by her husband, police corporal Wayne Llewellyn, who killed four of her family members before committing suicide on April 7, 2011.
Now another St Mary woman, Jenese Ann-Marie Burrell, also 38, was not so lucky. Allegations are that her common-law-husband of two years, Mario Dixon, also a policeman, decided to end her life on the night of Tuesday, May 14. Eyewitnesses, including her eldest child, who is said to have witnessed the murder, maintain that anger with venom was directed at her. The attack remains a major subject of discussion which has rocked the usually quiet and peaceful community of Islington, central St Mary.
Dixon, who has not been formally charged, remains in police custody.
The couple's son, aged four months, and the presence of Burrell's oldest of three children proved not to be a deterrent during the attack, as two bullets were pumped into the head of the civil servant.
Now many wonder what could have triggered such a tragic action. It will continue to be a mystery to them, as, according to family members, there was no sign that this would have happened.
"No sign. No sign of it," said Burrell's mother Miriam Irving, in a state of disbelief that her daughter's relationship with the law enforcer would have ended this way.
Maybe it was her demeanour which made everything look perfect, according to persons close to her, since Burrell was usually quiet and never complained about anything.
"She quiet till she fool. Nobody a look fi she dead this way," said Irving of her firstborn, who was killed inside the family home. Burrell and her common-law husband shared a section of the house where her mother and other family members live.
"She was calm and quiet. Everybody loved her," Irving told the Jamaica Observer a day after her daughter was killed.
"She was a humble and jovial person," said Burrell's co-worker at the Port Maria branch of the Tax Administration Department, Gloria Boland.
"She was not one to get into confrontations. She never deserved that death," Boland added.
A taxi driver who operates the Port Maria to Islington route agreed.
"Is a nice, quiet girl. Mi no know why him have to kill her," the cabbie said.
Irving also remembered her daughter as a loving and ambitious person.
Burrell started out at the tax office as a cashier but grew over the 15 years spent there, climbing up the ranks to become senior compliance officer.
"She was very ambitious," Irving said.
Burrell was the first of five children for her mother and the only child for her father. She was said to be a hard-working individual who ensured that her children were well cared for.
"She a the mother and father fi her children," Irving said, adding that Burrell raised her first two children without the support of their fathers, but this did not stop her from ensuring that they got the best. Burrell was on maternity leave at the time of her death and was expected to return to work in July.
The proud mother was looking forward to her daughter finishing university and her son, high school. Two weeks ago, her daughter and eldest child, aged 20, returned home for the summer holidays after completing her first year at the Northern Caribbean University. Her second child, 17, is now in the process of completing his Caribbean Secondary Examinations.
Burrell was said to be dedicated to her children and could usually be found at one of three places -- home, work or church.
"She no go a dance," Irving stated, emphasising that her daughter was such a calm person who would not be found in some environments.
"Mi wish it was a dream and she could have a second chance," Irving said.
However, the blood-stained mattress and floor which remained untouched on Wednesday was an indication of what happened Tuesday night. Family members found it hard to enter that section of the house where Burrell once slept.
Irving, who lives on the second floor of the house of death, was one of the first to rush to the room on the first floor after her daughter was shot.
She stated that the family was traumatised, especially Burrell's children, who saw their mother in her last moment of distress.
Her eldest daughter, whom police have listed as an eyewitness to the shooting, not only has to live with the pain of seeing her mother die, but has to also recount the incident to the police and possibly in a court of law later on.
According to one family member, Burrell's daughter, who was in an adjoining room, heard the two arguing and went to investigate. It was at that point that Dixon allegedly pulled the trigger.
"It shocking, mi go look on the body and can't sleep. You know you always hear about these things on TV, but to actually know the victim, is not a pretty thing," a community member said.
Whatever it was that triggered Tuesday's tragedy, many are now left to wonder.
Burrell's co-workers will now have to accept that she will not be returning from her maternity leave; family will have to put up with not hearing her infectious laugh, and a baby will never know his mother who was killed on the very day that he turned four months old.