Nearly 100 stabs - Clarendon monster stabbed baby 11 times

July 29, 2022
Dual photo shows Kemesha Wright (left) with two of her children, Rafaella (centre) and Sharalee Smith.
Employees from Witter and Sons Funeral Home removing the bodies of the five victims from their home in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon in June.

Rushane Barnett, who yesterday confessed to killing his cousin and her four children in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon, reportedly inflicted more than 100 combined wounds to his victims with a knife.

Barnett pleaded guilty in the Home Circuit Court to the quintuple murder of Kemesha Wright, 31, and her children: Kimanda Smith, 15; Sharalee Smith, 12; Rafaella Smith, five: and 23-month-old Kishawn Henry Jr. They were discovered by a relative on June 21 inside their home. The prosecution said a post mortem was done and the pathologist unearthed 95 incised wounds. Wright reportedly had 48 in the region of her chest, neck, abdomen and waist. Kishawn Jr’s body had 11 incised wounds, while Kimanda received nine incised wounds and four stab wounds. Sharalee and Rafaella had 22 and five incised wounds, respectively. All of their throats were slashed. They funeral will be held on July 31 at the Stuart Hall Auditorium at Clarendon College.

Yesterday, Justice Leighton Pusey questioned Barnett after his guilty plea.

“You’re doing this on your own free will, sir? Nobody has forced you to do it? Nobody has promised you anything if you do it?” Justice Pusey asked. Barnett said, “No sir … No Your Honour.” The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has indicated acceptance of Barnett’s plea in relation to the indictment before the court. He was served with a death penalty notice on his very first appearance in June. Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, in a press release, explained that under section 3(1) of the Offences Against the Person Act, persons who are found guilty of multiple murders in one incident shall be sentenced to life in prison or to death. But the act states that the death penalty cannot be imposed unless the defendant is given sufficient notice long before the start of the trial.

The court yesterday heard that a psychiatric evaluation was done on Barnett and the findings disclosed to the court administrators and his attorney. Barnett’s attorney Tameka Harris has indicated that she wants to have further dialogue with the psychologist but not in relation to his fitness to enter a plea. The prosecution cited that relations between Barnett and Wright went downhill after he felt she disrespected him in front of her customers and allegedly threw water in his face.

Barnett reportedly told a witness “Mi go warn mi brother out a Chapelton say mi a go kill some people tonight.” The murder weapon and bloody clothing were found under an ackee tree near the home. Barnett, who was staying at the house, fled to Wilson Run in Trelawny but was later apprehended by the police. On June 22, he gave a caution statement in the presence of two justices of the peace and his attorney, detailing how he murdered the five. Barnett’s sentencing will be conducted on September 22. Justice Pusey has requested an antecedent report, social enquiry report and copies of the victim impact statements on or before September 19. A fingerprint order was also made.

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