MONTEGO BAY, St James — The prosecution told the court on Monday that Rushawn Patterson had told security guard Rohan "Early B" Rose that he killed social media influencer Aneka "Slickianna" Townsend, but Rose's lawyer has called into question the level of his client's culpability after that conversation took place.
In arguing his client's case for bail, attorney Martyn Thomas told the court that Patterson unsuccessfully tried to enlist Rose's help in covering up the crime. The prosecution disagrees and Rose, who was granted bail in the sum of $500,000, will go to trial on March 6 of next year. He is charged with misprision of felony. This means he is accused of knowing about the matter but failed to notify the authorities.
On Monday, Thomas told the court that Rose had nothing to do with the murder and now wanted nothing to do with Patterson, a man he once considered a friend.
The defence attorney was responding to the prosecution which, in laying out its case, referenced a caution statement Rose reportedly gave to the police when he was taken into custody.
According to the prosecution, on October 20 Patterson called Rose and told him that he had invited a new girl to visit him and that he was with her at a restaurant in Hanover.
It is said Rose later stopped by the restaurant and Patterson introduced Townsend as his wife. Rose spent some time at the restaurant before leaving.
The court was told that the following day Rose reportedly noticed that he had missed several calls from Patterson. He returned the calls and Patterson told him to meet him at a guest house near the Hanover/St James border.
"He told Mr Rose that he had killed her and dumped her body down the road, and that while Mr Rose was going to work he should look out if he saw signs of a police crime scene. Mr Rose, with the information, went on his way to work," said the prosecutor.
But Rose's attorney painted a different picture.
"When this person, Mr Patterson, said what he said to him [Rose], he immediately hissed his teeth and said, 'My youth, you know what, mi ah guh ah wuk.' On his way to work Mr Patterson kept calling Rose until he eventually answered his phone. He [Patterson] asked him a question and he proceeded on his way," stated Thomas.
The prosecution is contending that after Rose was made aware of Townsend's murder he failed to report to the police that a felony had been committed, which gave rise to the charge of misprision of a felony. According to Rose's attorney, his client reportedly told investigators that it was shortly after arriving at work that he heard on the news that Townsend's body had been found.
On Monday, in granting Rose bail, Justice Andrea Thomas instructed him not to communicate with Patterson, to report to the Lucea Police Station in Hanover three times per week, and to surrender his travel documents.
On October 21 Townsend's scantily clad body was retrieved from the sea in Reading, between St James and Hanover. In announcing the arrest of Patterson and Rose, the police said she had been strangled.
Patterson, who is facing a murder charge, returns to court for a bail hearing on December 15.