(Jamaica Observer) After 12 years, a case the police say had gone cold has been revived and a charge laid yesterday against Portland businessman Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald for the murder of his first wife, Marlene McDonald.
The charge comes even as he faces prison time for allegedly plotting the death of his second wife, Tonia McDonald, who was brutally stabbed on Monday, July 20, 2020.
McDonald’s first wife, Marlene, was shot dead outside her home in Boundbrook, Portland, in 2009.
The announcement of the charge for the first crime was made during a Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) press conference yesterday afternoon by deputy commissioner in charge of the crime portfolio Fitz Bailey, who sounded a warning to contract killers.
“That was a cold case that was under investigation. It might take a while [but] if you get involved in contract killing, we are going to find you,” Bailey said during the conference attended by Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson and which was streamed via Zoom and various social media platforms.
In September last year, the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston was told by Denvalyn Minott that he participated in murder of Tonia McDonald, who had trusted him. For his confession, Minott was sentenced to 19 years in prison.
He also told the court that he was offered $3 million by Everton McDonald to carry out the hit on his wife, with direct instructions that she was to be stabbed and her body burnt. Minott also told the court that he subcontracted the hit to Aska Barnes, as he watched.
Minott, who is a fisherman, added that he took advantage of the trust Tonia McDonald had for him and lured her to her demise. He told the court that after instructing her to pick up Barnes, whom she believed to be a friend of his, he watched Barnes repeatedly stab her and slash her throat.
Her partially burnt body was found outside her razed Toyota Axio motor vehicle along the Sherwood Forest main road in the parish that same night.
Deputy Commissioner Bailey revealed that a special team is being formulated to specifically tackle cases that have gone cold.
“There are several cold cases and we intend to identify those that have solvability factors and then we assign them,” he said.
According to Commissioner Anderson, technology will play a vital role going forward in the police’s investigation of murders and other serious criminal activities.
Anderson said that over 30 technology programmes are being fine-tuned for roll-out, including a station management system that is expected to be launched this year.
“We are building capacity in the force and that capacity will get better and better results. Capacity isn’t built overnight but people can rest assured that we have a clear programme of capacity-building. We are seeing some of the results of that capacity. It is a work in progress,” Anderson said.
“We have 30 major technology projects which have been delayed a little bit, but a lot of them will be coming on stream this year, including our station records management system, our case management system and the ability to connect what we do across the country. As the criminals are fluid, so are we in our communications and our ability to do surveillance,” Anderson told the conference.