TWO jurors fell ill Thursday, causing an early adjournment of the murder trial of Portland businessman Everton "Beachy Stout" McDonald and his co-accused, Oscar Barnes, in the Home Circuit Court, downtown Kingston.
McDonald and Barnes are on trial for the July 20, 2020 murder of Tonia McDonald, Beachy Stout's second wife. Her partially burnt body was found slumped beside her razed motor vehicle on the Sherwood Forest main road in Portland, with her throat slashed.
The first witness, who took the stand on Monday, is expected to continue his testimony on Monday when the trial is set to resume.
During Wednesday's sitting, the witness testified that Tonia had remained silent when McDonald confronted her in his office about her bringing her so-called lover into his bedroom.
It is alleged that the individual was a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The witness, a former employee of Beachy Stout who played many roles, said he was present in the office at the supermarket owned by the businessman in Portland when he heard him telling his wife that she needed to delete her Facebook account.
"He said to her, 'You need to get rid of your Facebook page and delete the account because it a bring disgrace pon mi.' He said the bwoy have her up every week and all a put up picture and di bwoy have the mind to threaten him. He asked her how the bwoy got pictures of his bedroom if she didn't carry him into the house for him to be posting it on Facebook," the witness told the court.
He said that Beach Stout, in the conversation with his wife, said, "A dem careless life yah you want for people to walk and disgrace my name. I told you to get rid of that friend of yours and you keep calling her."
He added that McDonald told his wife to change her phone number, but while he was speaking she sat down quietly and continued doing her work.
The witness went on to detail for the court his recollection of events surrounding McDonald's alleged plot to douse Tonia and her police boyfriend with acid. According to the witness, the plan was to badly disfigure their faces.
He claimed that sometime in 2020, while at the business place in Portland, he saw Beachy Stout with what appeared to be a jug and he was pouring out some liquid substance into a cork.
"He was sitting at his desk and he said, 'Throw this on my hand.' I was afraid to throw it on his hand because I knew it was acid. In the same week he sent me to go buy some containers. He said to buy a container with a metal cover, similar to a jam bottle. He said to get the metal cork because this is acid and will melt an ordinary cork."
According to the witness, Beachy Stout said, "This is to deal with the police bwoy," because Tonia carried his name to the police, and he said it was a good thing he had somebody there to tell him. He said he can't shoot him again, so this a go deal with his face, mek the two of them go live together."
The witness began to cry in court when he remembered that the plan included disfiguring Tonia's face and skin.
"Him seh him a go burn her up so she and the policeman can stay with each other. I said, 'Mr Mac, just give her the $10 million and done nuh'."
Both of them were arguing, the witness said, pointing out that it was then he overheard bits and pieces of a conversation in relation to somebody wanting $10 million.
The witness said his former boss was becoming highly suspicious of Tonia being involved in extramarital relationships. He added that due to this suspicion Beachy Stout would get him to help him spy on his wife on numerous occasions.
"In the first to the second week of July in 2020, Mrs McDonald was supposed to come from Kingston, but she didn't come back at the time when he expected her to come back. I was in the shop and he said I must go and see if I see her. I took Tonia's father's car and drove all the way to Junction [St Mary]. On the way he called me and said to come back because she was at her mother. I went back to the shop.
"One early morning, in the same July month in 2020, she went to Kingston [and] he came downstairs from his office and said if I knew any taxi man who could carry me to Kingston [as] he wanted to find out where Tonia went. I told him that I knew a taxi man and he told me to go and look for him. I went down the street and had a conversation and I went back to Mr Mac and told him that the taxi man was out of town. He didn't say anything else. He just went upstairs," the witness claimed.
"Mr Mac said he noticed that when she left in the mornings, she didn't come back until night. He wanted to know what was holding her until night. After he and I spoke, he said he knew what he was going to do. He said he was going to call some boys and make them follow her," the witness told the court.