A purported car salesman who said he was commissioned by Portland businessman Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald to douse his wife Tonia with “black acid to dismantle her” because of suspected infidelity, told the court that he aborted the mission because she was too striking.
The new prosecution witness, who took the stand Thursday afternoon, testified that he met with McDonald on three occasions between 2019 and 2020.
He said, in meeting McDonald for the first time alongside an individual who introduced them in a car park beside a supermarket McDonald owned in Port Antonio, the businessman told them that “a pure problem” his wife “a give”.
“She nah come home most a di nights… a give him pure bun [infidelity], and him want mi to get some black acid and dismantle her,” he testified.
He said McDonald, on that first occasion after they begged him “gas money” to go back to Linstead, gave them $50,000.
He told the court that on a second trip, still in 2019, he again met with the businessman in the same car park at which time he claimed that he was shown a “short cut” behind the supermarket and told he could walk there to get to the main after completing the “mission”.
Asked by the prosecutor marshalling the evidence what the mission was, he said, “to burn him wife with black acid”. According to the witness, on that occasion McDonald instructed him to walk behind him and lead him into the supermarket where he said the businessman proceeded to talk to a cashier who he described to the court as “a very, very beautiful lady”.
“She was very pretty. He indicated to me that she was his wife. He stood up next to her and [gesturing, mouthed] ‘a she, a she’,” the witness claimed.
He told the court that he then walked over to the unsuspecting wife and said to her, “You are so beautiful,” at which she smiled.
He said in meeting up with McDonald moments later in the car park he was handed $60,000 for the purchase of the black acid. The witness claimed that some days later he visited the Salt Factory in St Catherine where he gave a friend some money to purchase the corrosive substance.
He said upon being handed the liquid in a glass bottle with a gold cap he waited for more than a week before returning to Portland on a day in 2020.
He said once there and in the same car park he handed the purchase to McDonald, who met him. He said the businessman opened the bottle, “take a little tip and put it on his hand… make up his face like something burn him, and then smiled and say, ‘Right stuff’ “.
He said McDonald then secured the acid in an upstairs room and led him to a plaza where he showed him his wife sitting under a hair dryer at a salon. He said McDonald, who didn’t stop but kept walking, then returned to the car park where he told him that he could carry out the act right where he had seen Tonia.
“Mi seh to him, ‘Mi a go deal with it.’ Gimme back di acid right now. He went upstairs, took the bottle and handed me it. I walked towards the place where the beautiful lady was under the dryer and slip through a gas station because mi nevah a go do wha him tell mi fi do. So mi slide through a gas station wid di acid,” he told the court.
Asked why he did not carry out the mission, he said, “Sir, that lady was too beautiful, I could not do har that, I’m not that kind of person.”
At this point trial judge Justice Chester Stamp quipped: “So if she wasn’t beautiful, you would do it?
The witness later told the court that in walking away he called a cop he knew as a friend and told him, and further went to the police station and handed over the bottle of acid. He said he then accompanied the cop to the supermarket and pointed out Tonia to him and told him about the plot McDonald had.
He claimed he left Portland and had no further contact with McDonald, but made his first statement to the police about the crime in 2020 when he was in custody for another crime and saw that the businessman had been arrested for the death of his wife.
The witness admitted that since then he was convicted for two offences and pleaded guilty under a plea bargain arrangement.
McDonald and co-accused Oscar Barnes are on trial for the July 20, 2020 murder of Tonia, whose partially burnt body was found on the Sherwood Forest main road in Portland with multiple stab wounds.
McDonald is accused of ordering the murder of Tonia, while Barnes, who was allegedly hired by another man, Denvalyn Minott, is accused of committing the actual murder. The two were married for eight years, up until Tonia’s slaying.
Tonia is the second wife of McDonald to be murdered. The probe into her killing resulted in the investigations into the death of the first wife of the businessman being reopened. McDonald is to stand trial for her killing separately at a later date.
The matter continues this morning at 10:00.