MANDEVILLE, Manchester — A coroner’s inquest into the 2018 death of Mandeville businessman Jason Neil, 33, at his Ingleside home began Thursday but was adjourned until December 7, 2023.
It was reported that the businessman had committed suicide.
Coroner Monique Harrison said the inquest is a “fact-finding investigation” as she addressed a seven-member jury at the Coroner’s Court in Mandeville.
The jury, which consists of six women and a man, listened to two witnesses, including Neil’s widow on Thursday being questioned by attorneys KD Knight, KC, and Christopher Honeywell.
Knight is representing Neil’s father Bunny Neil, while Honeywell is representing Neil’s widow.
The witnesses recalled the events of the morning of December 4, 2018 where Jason Neil was found shot in the bathroom of his home in the upscale community of Ingleside on Julie Drive.Police reported that about 7:00 am the businessman’s wife, then pregnant, heard an explosion and when she went to investigate Neil was allegedly seen on the floor with his licensed firearm beside him. He was pronounced dead at hospital.
The widow told the Coroner’s Court that she was seven months pregnant at the time of the incident and was married to Jason Neil for two years.
She spoke of hearing “a loud explosion” on the morning of December 4, 2018 and the subsequent events, including finding Jason Neil in the bathroom “on the floor bleeding”.
Following the questioning of the first witness by Knight, then Honeywell, the former suggested that the order of questioned be reversed, resulting in a debate between the two attorneys.
Knight had earlier expressed concerns about “distasteful” comments on social media surrounding the matter, and also sought to clarify his absence for the initial date for the inquest, September 7, pointing out that he was involved in a trial matter in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew.
In April, Harrison had granted the application for an inquest by attorney Ashleigh Ximines of the law firm Knight Junor and Samuels, who is representing Bunny Neil, Jason’s father.
On Thursday, Bunny Neil and his daughter Stacy Neil were in court for aspects of the matter. Jason Neil, a proprietor of the second-generation family-owned business Neil’s Auto Service, located on Ward Avenue in Mandeville, was buried at a family plot in Dunder Hill, St Elizabeth.