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Judge raps prosecution, defence for wasting time in ‘Beachy Stout’ trial

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2022 | 12:12 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter

High Court judge Justice Vinette Graham-Allen yesterday chided the defence and prosecution for causing a further delay in the murder case involving Everton ‘Beachy Stout’ McDonald, after they disobeyed her order to meet.

The 68-year-old-0ld Portland businessman is charged for the deaths of his wife and ex-wife.

At the last court hearing on July 6, the judge had ordered the parties to meet to determine if full disclosure has been made, as well as the statements that could be agreed.

However, when the matter was called up yesterday for the commencement of the plea and case management hearing so that a trial date could be set, the judge learned that the parties had not complied with her order.

While the prosecution indicated that full disclosure was made, one of the defendant’s lawyers, John Jacobs, advised the judge that his colleague, Earl Hamilton, had indicated that full disclosure was not made, as he was told about an outstanding document.

The judge was not pleased that they had not ironed out the issue, reminding them that the matter had previously been adjourned twice, on their request to facilitate disclosure.

“The discussion can’t happen in court and that’s why the court makes an order that the parties are to discuss the case before the plea and case management hearing date,” Graham-Allen said.

Furthermore, the judge stressed that the case is very technical and, therefore, it is important that they meet.

“It’s called wasting time, and none of you – whether defence or prosecution – is going to go to the trial court and say that you did not get this or that. This is the place where everything must happen. When the court mek orders, unno must comply with it,” the judge added before indicating that she was unable to continue with the hearing.

She reordered the parties to meet to ensure that full disclosure has been made in both murder cases and to decide on the length and mode of the trial.

She also ordered that Hamilton, who was absent, appear in court on the next occasion.

McDonald, who appeared via video link, was remanded, while his co-accused, Oscar Barnes, had his bail extended.

The two are charged with the July 20, 2020 murder of McDonald’s second wife, Tonia Hamilton-McDonald, whose partially burnt body was found with the throat slashed beside her burnt car along the Sherwood Forest main road.

Another man, Denvalyn Minott, said to be the contract killer, pleaded guilty to his role and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Minott, in a witness statement, claimed that he was offered $3 million by McDonald to kill his wife.

In the other case, McDonald is charged for the May 2, 2009 murder of his first wife, Merlene ‘Petal’ McDonald, who was shot dead outside her home in Boundbrook, Portland.

It is alleged that McDonald paid a police detective to kill his wife after their marriage crumbled and she left the matrimonial home.

Hamilton and Jacobs are representing McDonald in both cases while Barnes is being represented by attorney Ernest Davis.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com