Sat | Sep 19, 2020

‘Don’t allow him to get away’ - DPP urges jury to hold accused accountable for ‘butcher shop’ slayings

Published:Saturday | November 23, 2019 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

A seven-member jury comprising three men and four women was urged by lead prosecutor Paula Llewellyn to hold accused Kemar Riley to account for the murders of a St Catherine mother and her daughter.

“Do not allow Kemar Riley ‘Blacks’ to get away with it,” said Llewellyn as she delivered her closing arguments at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

She told the court that this was one of the most heinous cases she has prosecuted in her 30 years of experience as an attorney-at-law, likening the deceased to “lambs to the slaughter”.

Showing the court pictures of the scene with blood splatter on the walls and bed of the room, she gave her take on what transpired on the night of the incident.

“Let me indicate to you that between July 19 and 20, the home of Charmaine [Cover]-Rattray and Joeith Lynch was not only turned into a bloodbath, it was turned into a butcher shop. What you had was a group of men armed with lethal weapons,” said Llewellyn, who is the island’s director of public prosecutions (DPP).

On the day following the incident, the DPP said that Riley did not enquire about who had been killed up the road from where he lived, but instead took up his tools, mounted his bicycle, and rode away in the opposite direction.

She explained to the jury why he did this.

“There was curiosity because he already knew,” Llewellyn said, adding that he believed that “the community conspiracy” of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” and “no matter what you see, you must keep quiet” would keep him from being pointed out as a suspect.


She said that even if Riley did not deliver the fatal blow, his role in the killing was no less influential.

“No human being deserves this. There was no dignity, humanity, kindness. There was just savagery and carnage. Do not allow him to get away with it,” the prosecutor urged the jury.

She added: “Death is the surest thing after birth. To die this way, like a goat being butchered, like a cow being polled, for nothing at all.”

Llewellyn told the jury to see inconsistencies in the witness’s testimony as a function of memory, citing that the incident happened eight years ago.

Riley is charged with the July 20, 2011 killing of Charmaine Cover-Rattray, 40, and her 18-year-old daughter, Joeith Lynch, inside their Lauriston, St Catherine, home.