MONTEGO BAY, St James — Death has not spared Kevin Smith the humiliation of being slapped with murder charges in connection with the horror that played out at the organisation he led, Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries.
Yesterday, two days after he died in a car crash, Smith was posthumously charged with two counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, wounding with intent and shooting with intent.
The murder charges are in relation to the vicious killings of 39-year-old Taneka Gardner and 38-year-old Michael Scottsdale Brown, both of St James.
A former member of Smith's misguided flock, who asked not to be named, told the Jamaica Observer that during what they believed was to be a three-day convention, Brown was first in line to be killed.
After being promised “a new kidney”, the source said, Brown allegedly discharged himself from Cornwall Regional Hospital where he was being treated for kidney disease.
“He had a kidney issue and he was just coming from the hospital… They did something, I think it is dialysis they call it. He was just coming from the hospital with bandages all over him,” the man told the Observer.
“There was one in his neck and [Smith] looked at him and asked, 'You believe in me?' And the guy said, 'Yes, I believe in you'. And the guy ran to him, fell at his feet and started to hold onto his feet. And he said to him, 'Touch my tassel', and the guy touch him foot.”
The man told the Observer that this was when Smith pulled the catheters from Brown's frail body.
“He said, 'You will have to die and I will bring you back to life.' And he just started to pull the Band-Aids off him and pulled the thing out of his neck. When he pulled it off, there was blood shooting out of his body like it was a river running,” the man recounted.
He said that during the whole ordeal, Smith kept promising his followers that he would resurrect Brown.
“He asked a boy, 'Is there anywhere that we can put him so he can bleed out and die? Then I will raise him back from the dead',” said the former congregant.
Gardner was next in line, the man said. It is alleged that Smith told her that entry to the premises would require blood.
“He said, 'Your blood has to be clean, you cannot enter here.' And he asked her, 'Do you believe that I am the resurrection?' And she said, 'Yes I do',” the man recounted of the horrifying night.
He told the Observer that Smith went on to ask Gardner, “Do you believe that if you die you will come back to life?”
To which she also replied, “Yes, I do.”
At this point Smith gave instructions for Gardner's throat to be slashed, the man told the Observer.
“He said, 'Archangels, one of you go and cut her throat',” the man alleged.
Gardner did not cry out, the man said.
“All I can remember hearing was like blood was rushing down in her windpipe, and I could hear her choking on her blood. But she did not scream or anything and I think the reason for that was because the knife was [rubbed with] garlic so she wasn't feeling it,” the man said.
Then came strict orders from Smith to harm other congregants if they attempted to enter the premises.
“He said anyone that he doesn't authorise to come through the gates should be stabbed to death,” the man recounted.
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force were alerted after an injured woman turned up at hospital and reportedly told lawmen of rituals involving human sacrifice taking place at the location in Albion.
Smith was arrested after reportedly shooting at lawmen. Some 42 members of his flock were also taken into custody.
On Monday, Smith died in a motor vehicle crash on the Linstead bypass in St Catherine. He was being transferred from Freeport Police Station in St James to the CIB headquarters in downtown Kingston where charges were to be laid against him.
A policeman, Constable Orlando Irons, also died in the crash and two other cops seriously injured.
Smith's co-accused, André Ruddock, appeared in the Home Circuit Court yesterday. He is accused of murdering Gardner.
Ruddock will return to court on November 3.