Yanni’s family shun ‘violence producer’ label
An urn containing Sherrod 'Yanni' Holness' ashes sits in the centre of his mother's living room, a timely reminder of the painful reminder that he is no longer with her in the flesh.
'Yanni', who the police described as a violence producer, was murdered last October, and his decapitated head was taken to Duhaney Park, St Andrew, where he lived.
"That is the only thing I have leave of my son, and he always told me to cremate his body but he never told me what to do with it after. So, right now that is the only thing l have and his pictures. For now, I am just keeping it with me because l live alone," said the mother, 62, with tears running down her cheeks.
As if dealing with his untimely death is not hard enough to deal with, Yanni's family members said they have been forced to clear his name, which they said has been smeared by the police.
Carol Thomas, 62, said that Yanni, who is her only child, only had a bad temper. She said that he was not a wrongdoer and is baffled by the label that has been placed on him. She said that he was a loving person, who cared a lot for his two children residing in the United States of America and England.
"He was a violence producer? I have not known that about my son, l know he had a bad temper but if he is not being provoked, you would not know because he is always smiling. He is always willing to help anyone. He loved his children and l can't see why the police would seek to say these things about him," said a distraught Thomas on Sunday at her home in St Catherine.
She told THE STAR that she felt compelled to address the claims made against Holness, 41, especially as she struggles to come to terms with his death.
"My son may not be the intellect but he is not a troublemaker. He is far from being a troublemaker. My son is a very kind-hearted person, he worked on a construction site in Duhaney Park, and apart from that, my son cooks. I don't even know how to understand all of this because every time I start talking about it l break down," she said.
Thomas lamented the manner in which her son was killed. She believes his killers are heartless and stressed that she will not relent until there's justice for his death.
"It hurts me so much, because not only the fact that they killed him but the brutality of the killing, the way they took him from me, the things that they do. Where the incidents took place, the people round there told me that they called the police the night when they saw the fight. They called the police and no police came. My son was there fighting for his life. They said they stabbed him, I don't know what they didn't do, and they take off his head," she said.
Thomas said the ordeal has caused her a great deal of physical and emotional pain.
"I have not been sleeping, I hardly eat, I have developed this problem with my stomach and l have been in pain most days. I cry a lot and just hoping that l will get some comfort by hearing something from the police that they have reached somewhere in finding these people.
The police said a missing person's report was filed for Yanni at the Spanish Town Police Station hours before the discovery of his head in Sherlock. His head was discovered by residents at the back of a building wrapped up in several pieces of cloth. The police believed that his head was taken there to send a message to his cronies.
Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent Kirk Ricketts, who heads the St Andrew South Police Division, reiterated yesterday that Holness was a strong man in the volatile Kingston 20 community.
"Yanni was the leader of a group of criminal suspects that was in constant gang feud with another faction within the space. The leader for the other faction, Anthony Davis, known as 'Crank', was arrested last year with a firearm and pleaded guilty and was sent to prison where he died shortly after he was in custody. We know of both of these individuals at the time to have created some amount of instability in the Sherlock community, in fact they were feared. Yanni was known to be, as I've said, a violence producer and we have reports to suggest same. At no stage are we retreating from this position," Ricketts said.