Killer inflicted 95 stab wounds to family of five over ‘disrespect’ Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Kimesha Wright, one of the five persons who Rushane ‘Jett’ Barnett pleaded guilty to killing, received 48 incised wounds during the macabre-style attack at her home in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon last month.

Barnett, who claimed that Wright had disrespected him in front of her customers days before the killings, also mercilessly stabbed four of Wright’s children, three of whom had rushed to her defence as she was being butchered by her cousin.

But hours before the slaughtering of the family of five, one of Barnett’s other cousins had seen him (Barnett) with a knife and he (the cousin) heard him (Barnett) saying, “Mi go warn mi brother out a Chapelton seh mi a go kill some people tonight, suh him fi look out a him eye.”

In all, the five family members received a total of 95 incised wounds to their bodies – all inflicted by Barnett.

The details of the events of the killings which occurred between the night of June 20 and the early morning of June 21, were outlined by prosecutors when the case was called up on Thursday in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

According to a post-mortem report that was read in court, Wright received 48 incised wounds in the region of her neck, chest, abdomen and limbs (hands and feet). Her cause of death was haemorrhage and shock, as well as multiple sharp force injuries.

The youngest of Wright’s children, 23-month-old Kishawn Henry Jr, had 11 incised wounds, inclusive of a wound to the neck, which the doctor described as a cut throat injury, the post-mortem report said.

Wright’s 15-year-old daughter, Kimanda Smith, received nine incised wounds and four stabbed wounds. Her cause of the death, according the post mortem-report, was haemorrhage, shock and multiple stab wounds.

Ten-year-old Sharalee Smith, who received 22 incised wounds and two scratches, along with a cut throat wound to the neck, also died from haemorrhage.

Her sister, five-year-old Rafaella Smith, received five incised wounds and a gaping wound to the upper anterior of the neck.

Aside from those gory details in the post-mortem report, Senior Prosecutor, Andrea Martin Swaby, revealed to the court even more chilling details that were outlined by Barnett in a caution statement to the police.

Barnett, 23, told investigators in the statement that days before the murder, Wright “disrespected” him.

He claimed that one night he was at Wright’s home when two men came and ordered some items. He served them and collected the payments for the items.

According to him, Wright grabbed the money that he collected from the men and told him not to serve any of her customers, the prosecutor read in court.

Barnett said because his cousin did this in front of the customers, he felt disrespected. He said he was even further humiliated when he claimed that Wright flashed some water in his face.

Following the incident, Barnett said he noticed that Wright’s attitude towards him changed, and her children distanced themselves from him.

Victims of the mass murder in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon last month.

On Tuesday, June 21, between midnight and 1am, Barnett said he was at the house when Wright told him to lock up the premises. He said he told her that he heard a vehicle outside, but she looked and said she saw nothing.

It was at that moment that Barnett claimed that he looked at her and she looked at him as if she saw that he was “preeing her”.

The prosecutor said Barnett said he observed Wright making after something on the dresser, but he did not see what the item was.

According to Barnett, he “preed in the heavens that it was a knife or a scissors”.

Barnett, who told officers that he had a knife on him, said he stabbed up Wright and she “dropped the children”.

He said he saw two of the children rushing towards the dresser, and they started throwing things at him.

Barnett claimed that he grabbed them and also stabbed them up.

Wright’s eldest child, Kimanda, according to Barnett, reached for a pair of scissors in another room, and he rushed after her. She fell and he then stabbed her multiple times.

“When everybody was dead, he charged off and threw the shorts and the knife over the side of where a hacker tree was located,” the prosecutor told the court.

Presiding judge, Justice Leighton Pusey, was informed that the same cousin who had earlier seen Barnett in the same shorts and with a knife in hand prior to the killings, identified the bloodied items after they were found by the police.

The prosecutor indicated that she intends to prepare victim impact statements from family members of the deceased persons.

At Barnett’s first court appearance, the prosecution served him a copy of a Death Penalty Notice that it had filed in the Supreme Court ahead of the case.

The court was also informed that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) will be seeking the death penalty.

On Thursday, another senior prosecutor, Jeremy Taylor, said the court will hear at the next mention date whether DPP Paula Llewellyn will be pursuing the death penalty when the crown makes its submissions.

But under the present laws of the country, once an offender pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity to do so, he is entitled to a discount from the sentence he is to be given.

Also revealed on the day’s proceedings was a psychiatric evaluation which said Barnett is fit to plead and/or stand trial.

Defence attorney representing Barnett, Tamika Harris, told the judge that despite the findings of the evaluation, she intends to have further discussions with the psychiatrist in relation to Barnett’s mental health.

A social enquiry report and an antecedent report are to be prepared for the next scheduled court date on September 22, 2022.

At that time, Barnett could be sentenced.