Meyshane Kemar Johnson, Jamaican
Jeremiah Chevon Mills, born on St. Maarten of Jamaican and Guyanese descent (relative of Johnson)
Jamal Jefferson Woolford of Guyana.
CHARGES: murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, laundering goods gotten through illicit conduct, unlawful detention (the victims were held hostage) September 9th 2012
Seeking life imprisonment for “mastermind” Meyshane Kemar Johnson, the person who did the actual murders.
His 17 year old cousin Jeremiah Chevon Mills is facing the same sentence of life imprisonment. Although he is was only seventeen when he was an accomplice to the crime, the prosecutors feel that he is a seasoned criminal, who had been arrested before for other felonious activity, and he was also the other participant in the planning of the murder of Thelma and Michael King. Because he was a minor when committing the crime, the prosecutor wants him to receive a 28 year sentence.
The prosecutor asked for a 24 year sentence for now twenty year old Jamal Jefferson Woolford, because although he did not have any prior conviction, the prosecutors office felt that a stiff sentence was necessary considering the gravity of the crime.
Attorney for Defense:
Dounia Benammar and George van der Eshof
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the three men had gone on a drinking and crime spree, shortly before the murder of the Kings. They had robbed a Chinese restaurant, “The Happy Star” in Simpson Bay, and had fled in a getaway car which had been shot at by the police.
The Prosecutor’s Office also alleged that they had entered Casino Royale at Maho, with the intentions of robbing the casino, but then realized that there was too much security.
They then continued from Maho to Cupecoy, where they entered the Kings Residence.
The men, who through their lawyers have pled “intoxicated”, and claim that they can’t remember exactly what happened that night, caught the Thelma and Michael King unaware in their home.
Michael King was encountered asleep on a couch, and was poked awake with a knife by ringleader, Johnson.
The house was ransacked, and valuables such as an Ipod and a laptop were taken, but the killers remained unsatisfied, and with assurances of not being harmed by the culprits, Michael King led them upstairs to the safe, where his wife Thelma was sleeping.
Thelma King awoke to a nightmare scene and evidently pled for her life, she too was assured that she would not be harmed if she let them into the safe, which she did after a few unsuccesful attempts. Mrs King was then tied to a chair by the two young accomplices, Mills and Woolford, as they continued to raid the rest of the house for valuables,
Michael King was held at knifepoint, while they ransacked the house for valuables.
Although the found ipods, laptops, jewellery and cash, they remained unsatisfied with the loot, and felt that there had to be more stashed somewhere in the house.
According to sources the victims were tortured into illiciting information, because the assailants refused to belive that there were no more valuables and cash.
The Kings were then brutally stabbed to death. Thelma still tied to the Chair, Michael on the floor. There bodies would be discovered the same day.
The defense for ringleader Johnson evidently will be some type of psychiatric disorder. Johnson had been admitted to a mental institution in Jamaica, and had also been detained and deported from St Maarten on a previous occasion, after having suffered some type of mental breakdown.
All of the accused are claiming to have been too drunk to remember or be responsible for the murders.
Mills, in his defense claimed to have been drinking too much, popping too many pills and smoking to much marijuana to remember fully what happened. All of the defendents stories have changed, and remain inconsistent.
After having murdered the King couple, the three suspects are alleged to have gone to a local brothel “Casa Blanca” and blown the money on prostitutes.
The prosecutor’s office continued to point out the inconsistencies in their stories. Mills was too drunk to realize his acts in the murders, but he was sober enough to solicit oral sex from the prostitutes at the brothel.
The Defense lawyers will also be using the childhood of the suspects in order to get a more lenient sentence.
FROM BIBI SHAW’S SMN-NEWS.COM: http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/11808-kings-murder-trial-underway-prosecutor-demands-life-for-johnson-mills-faces-28-years-while-woolford-24-years-defense-to-argue-on-wednesday.html
Background information on Meyshane Kemar Johnson.
Meyshane Kemar Johnson, the oldest of the three suspects was born in Jamaica where he attended school but left early to work so that he could assist his family financially. He worked in the construction field, as a mechanic, and also did agriculture in his homeland. Johnson then migrated to St. Maarten where he did odd jobs as a mechanic. In 2007, Johnson had a run in with the police due to his psychiatric and delusional condition and he was deported back to Jamaica but Johnson returned to St. Maarten that same year. In 2011, he began working at Checkmate Security as a security guard until the time of his arrest.
The psychiatric report issued by Dr. Gaudutrag of the Mental Health Foundation and a statement from Johnson’s mother states that Johnson began consuming alcohol at a very young age (10 to 12 years old). Johnson also had two episodes of psychotic and delusional illness, once when he was in Jamaica and once in St. Maarten. On both occasions, Johnson was admitted to an institution in Jamaica where he received treatment. The report further stated that Johnson abused the use of alcohol but even though he drank heavily on September 19th, 2012, he knew exactly what he was doing when he went to pick up Woolford so that he and Jeremiah Mills could rob Happy Star Restaurant. Johnson is the father of three children all of whom are residing in Jamaica. He told the court he regretted his actions, he said that if he was conscious of his actions he would not have been in court charged with the crimes he committed. One of his wishes is to be able to see and care for his children. He also wants to know how long he has to remain in prison because his intention is to work while in prison.
Jeremiah Chevon Mills — A Youngster with a monstrous record.
Jeremiah Chevon Mills (18) was convicted twice for robbery. In 2010, Mills was convicted for robbery and at that time he was sentenced to serve community service, but that did not work because in 2011 Mills was arrested again for theft. He was sentenced to 18 months, 15 months suspended sentence and two years probation but Mills still did not understand the consequences of his actions because by September 2012 he was back in prison for the armed robbery that was committed at the Happy Star Restaurant and the brutal murder of the Kings. Mills did not seem to be afraid of the justice system because of the way he answered some of the questions. At one point, he said that just by looking at the Kings house he knew they had money. He also told the court he wanted a “blow job” and the prostitute in Casa Blanca did not give it to him. Yet he stayed there from 12 to 2am when they left to take Woolford home and went back to the house of prostitution for more fun and pleasure.
Mills told the court that on the day he committed the robberies at Happy Star and at the Kings residence he was stoned. “I was popping pills, smoking marijuana, and drinking alcohol all day.” When he was asked by the judge if he was ever at Happy Star Restaurant he told the court he did not even know where Happy Star Restaurant is located, but his cousin Meyshane Kemar Johnson told the court that both he and Mills were are Happy Star drinking on September 19th, 2012.
The Prosecution believes that the two suspects went to Happy Star to scout and plan the robbery they committed later that evening. Mills told Judge Tyhuis that the grey bag he took from the Kings’ safe had one kilo of cocaine inside and he sold it for several thousand dollars, but he could not remember exactly how much money he sold the drugs for. He also told the court and police that he buried the monies in his yard but that money was never found. Mills even attacked the forensic evidence gathered by police which showed that there were no drugs in the safe. “If the forensic people did their job correctly they would have seen that drugs were inside that safe.” Prosecutor Dounia Benammar asked Mills if he knew how much is one kilo of cocaine, he responded in the affirmative saying he knew because he sells it and the prosecutor should know that drugs can be compressed and she should not be fooled by the size of the safe.
The court was told that Jeremiah Mills had a rocky childhood because at age five his mother sent him to Jamaica to live with her sister because she was working two jobs. This according to the prosecution affected Jeremiah, his mother brought him back to St. Maarten when she learnt he was using marijuana but when his mother could not control him she sent him to his father who is living in Grenada. “That was the first time Jeremiah saw his father and the two could not get along so he returned to St. Maarten but the relationship between Jeremiah and his mother never got better.”
Mills told the court that he went to Cupe Coy Beach prior to September 19th because he sells drugs there but maintained he did not know the Kings and the robbery and killings they committed that night were not planned. He said they went into the Kings house because a light was on and the shutters were not closed therefore they had easy access to the home.
Jamal Jefferson Woolford — An Independent young man.
The court was told that Woolford was born in Guyana, he never knew his biological father but he said that he did not lack anything. He received his elementary education in Guyana and his secondary education on St. Maarten. Woolford worked at Bobby’s Marina for two years. The prosecution told the court that they interviewed Woolford’s mother and up to now his mother cannot understand how her son got himself into trouble, especially a case of such magnitude. Woolford was an independent young man who went to live on his own when he made 18 years old. He also told the court that he had lots of debts like paying his rent and having a pregnant girlfriend and that is what led him to commit the crimes even though he did not know what Johnson and Mills picked him up for that evening. It should be noted that Woolford worked for Topper’s Restaurant but maintained that he did not know the victims. He told the court that he worked at the restaurant on the beach and he did not pay keen attention to the patrons or friends of Toppers. It should be noted that Toppers and the Kings had signed a business deal two days prior to their brutal murder. They intended to open a rum factory on St. Maarten.
Prosecutor Dounia Benammar told the court that the three suspects acted out of greed all because they wanted quick money. The killing of the Kings left the entire community in shock; the relatives of the Kings still cannot understand why the suspects killed Micheal and Thelma King because they got the monies and other valuable items they went to look for. Prosecutor Benammar and Judge Tyhuis asked the suspects why killed them, and why they did not leave when they got the monies and the grey bag they took out of the Kings safe. Woolford told the police and the court that he told the Jamaican (Johnson) not to kill them, he said he saw what Johnson wanted to do so he left the house and went on the porch and then to the beach. Mills said he did not participate in the killings but Johnson said that Mills gave him a second knife because when he (Johnson) cut Michael’s throat he was suffering and he wanted to make his death easy so he stabbed him in his back and the knife blade broke inside of the victim. “At that point he asked for another knife and Mills took a second knife from the kitchen and gave it to Johnson. Johnson used that knife to inflict a few more stab wounds on Michael. By then Mills had left the house and Johnson then decided to kill Thelma when she called out for her husband. Johnson told police that he killed Thelma because he did not want her to suffer because he had killed her husband, the other thing he feared is that Thelma would have alerted the security and police so to cover up their crimes he stayed in the house and slashed Thelma King throat twice, cutting her wind pipe and main arteries causing her death almost instantly. The trial continues on Wednesday at 8:30 am. Judge Tyhuis told the court that Attorney at Law Brenda Brooks will start the proceedings on Wednesday morning. Three lawyers will be defending their clients on Wednesday then the Prosecution will begin with rebuttals. The last word she said will end with the three suspects.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THE KINGS COME OUT FOR THE TRIAL