The police have officially charged a fifth person in connection with the murder-for-hire plot that claimed the lives of the 10-month-old daughter of the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Kingston and Port Royal, Phillip Paulwell, and the child’s 27-year-old mother.
The accused, Bjorn Black, was charged with eight criminal offences relative to the crime, on January 12, 2024.
He is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of conspiracy to murder, and two counts of conspiracy to kidnap.
Black’s legal woes are deepening, as, on December 20, 2023, he was charged by the police with offences under the new Firearms Act. Those charges are possession of a prohibited weapon, unauthorised possession of ammunition, and dealing in a prohibited weapon.
According to statement from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn on Wednesday, Black was remanded until February 13, 2024 on that matter for his legal representation to be settled.
In relation to the murders of Paulwell’s daughter, Sarayah, and her mother, Toshyna Patterson, Black appeared in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston on a Voluntary Bill of Indictment on Wednesday, January 17.
He was remanded in custody until February 9, 2024 by High Court Judge Justice Dale Palmer.
“On that date, the Crown will give an update on the state of the file, and the accused is also to advice the court on whether there has been a settlement of (his) legal representation,” Llewellyn stated.
Black will eventually be joined on an indictment with his co-accused Leoda Bradshaw, a US Navy Petty Officer who describes herself as Paulwell’s wife, and with whom she shares a daughter, and Bradshaw’s cousin, Roland Balfour.
Little Sarayah and her mother were kidnapped from their Gilmour Drive home in St Andrew on September 9 last year, taken to Stony Hill, also in St Andrew, before being driven to East Kingston, where they were shot and killed and their bodies burnt in a case that shocked the nation.
Bradshaw is the alleged mastermind behind the murder-for-hire plot. The murder contract was reportedly for $500,000, and Bradshaw allegedly made a down payment of $100,000.
Her cousin, Balfour, a 30-year-old assistant graphic designer of a Kingston address, has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to murder, two counts of conspiracy to kidnapping, and misprison of felon.
They have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance on March 6, 2024.
Two other men confessed to their roles in the murder-for-hire plot, and were sentenced in November.
Their names were officially released by Llewellyn in her statement on Wednesday.
One of the men, Richard Brown, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars on each of the two counts of murder. The sentences are to run concurrently, and he must serve 20 years before being eligible for parole consideration.
The other convict, Roshane Miller, received a sentence of seven years and 10 months in prison for two counts of accessory before the fact to murder, among other offences.