A man has admitted murdering his cousin and her four young children – because he felt she disrespected him.
Mum Kemisha Wright, and her four children, Kimana Smith, 15, Shemari Smith, 10, Kafana Smith, five, and 23-month-old Kishaun Henry, were all found with their throats cut at their home in Clarendon, Jamaica.
The 34-year-old mum’s cousin Rushane Barnett has confessed to the brutal murders, which took place on the night of June 20 .
The prosecution said: “After he had inflicted those wounds, he left the home and deposited the knife along with other items some distance away. Those items were retrieved and identified as items that belonged to the accused”.
Tragically, this all came about because Barnett claimed his cousin had disrespected him in the days before the murder.
A customer had come to the shop on the premises at her property that she ran and he had served them but his cousin allegedly was upset and told him to never serve a customer again.
He also claimed she snatched the money from his hands and splashed water in his face. He alleged after this her attitude towards him changed and her children became more distant as well.
Speaking in court, he recalled the night of the attack after his cousin told him to lock up the house. Barnett said his cousin had been trying to retrieve something from a chest of drawers when he began stabbing her.
Two of her children reportedly saw what happened and tried to defend their mum before he attacked them too and would go onto kill the entire family.
The family’s bodies were discovered at their home with extensive knife wounds on the morning of Tuesday June 21, by another relative.
Originally Barnett reportedly fled the area before being apprehended by police. The prosecution also added that Barnett would often be at his cousin’s property despite not living there, The Jamaica Observer reported .
Barnett is due to be sentenced on September 22 and such was the nature of his crimes that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) said they were seeking the death penalty for him.
The death penalty has not been applied in Jamaica for over 30 years and due to a Privy Council ruling any such sentence is commuted to life behind bars if the criminal spends over five years on death row.
At the beginning of a parliamentary committee reviewing the Firearms Act, 2022, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang recently spoke about the quintuple murder.
They said: “It is an act of savagery and brutality of unequal proportions. These are young, promising children with their lives ahead of them.
“Wright was a hardworking and honest young woman who was making a life for herself and her children,”.
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