Woman prisoner bitten on her lip

March 31, 2022

A woman serving time in prison reportedly bit off a piece of a fellow inmate's lip during a dispute over the use of a shower.

The Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court heard yesterday that Shanika Richards, who was charged with unlawful wounding, bit Esmielee Richards, who was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm for using a bottle to hit Shanika on the head and shoulder. They both pleaded guilty. They informed Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague that they have forgiven each other since the incident.

"We had an argument that night. I don't remember the whole thing but I walked away. About two minutes after, she came and chuck pon me sideway. So when she chuck pon me, me turn and fell on me back. The fall weh she fall pon me Ma'am, she bite off my lip," Esmielee explained to the court.

"A piece of lip is gone?" quizzed the judge, asking Esmielee to remove her mask to show the injuries. "Severely gone but it has been worked on and is still being worked on," the defendant replied. Esmielee said that she returned to her cell to look at her injuries, when she saw Shanika standing at the cell gate speaking to a correctional officer. She indicated that she used the water bottle to inflict injuries to Shanika.

"To be honest Ma'am at that time, I was trying to take out one of her eyes, seriously trying to pluck out her eye. But they held on to my hands and I'm happy too because it woulda come out. But I am happy they held my hands and it never happened. I am happy that today we are talking and we start work it out," Esmielee said. She said that she and Shanika assured the wardens that they will keep the peace. Esmielee is serving a life sentence for murder while Shanika is serving time for illegal possession of firearm. Cole-Montague complimented the defendants for being mature in their approach to ending the conflict.

"There is a strength in walking away. It's weak people slap people and do all kind of things like that. So I commend both of you for your posture," the judge said. The women hugged each other in court and were admonished and discharged.

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