J’can woman shot dead in Maryland; husband charged with murder

FRIENDSHIP, Trelwany — The shooting death of 34-year-old Jolesia Fairweather in Prince George County, Maryland, in the United States, has left her family members here devastated.

“It’s shocking to the whole family. It’s hard, very hard. Take it from me, the whole family is just… it’s hard. One of my daughters, she can’t take it, she is just crying like a baby,” the woman’s uncle, Ronald Nelson, said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

According to a report in the Washington Post, police officers responded to a shooting at a home on Maryland Park Drive in Capitol Heights about 7:50 am on Sunday, August 21 and, when they arrived, found Fairweather with a gunshot wound. She was taken to hospital where she later died.

The report further stated that 37-year-old Orville-Dean Fairweather, her husband, has since been taken into custody after initial reports indicated that he pulled the trigger. He has since been charged with first and second degree murder in relation to the incident.

“… It’s not something you want to hear. When I heard first, I kept praying that she’ll go to the hospital and survive, but when the news came and we found out that she didn’t make it, it wasn’t easy,”said Nelson, a pastor.

According to another family member, who requested anonymity, the husband and wife were not living together at the time. The family member claimed that she had gone to meet him on Saturday, “only to hear that she had been shot the following morning”.

Fairweather died leaving three children – a 17-year-old son from a previous relationship, and two daughters, ages five and four months, whom she shared with her husband.

While the son was already aware of the tragedy, family members were expected to break the news to the five-year-old daughter by taking her to a counselor on Wednesday. “They’re going to break it little by little to her, as she thought her mom was out,” said a relative.

The deceased woman’s father and a brother have already flown to Maryland to take custody of the children.

“My brother is taking it hard, very hard; take it from me, very, very hard. We try to call him every hour or so; even though he has a lot of friends, as family members we have to keep checking up on him. His joy is to be with the grandchildren there now, cooking for them making them feel comfortable,” said Nelson.

Fairweather’s mother, he said, is also inconsolable.

A dental assistant, Fairweather emigrated to the United States when she was 11, but had been a frequent visitor to the island since her adult years. “It was during those visits that she met her husband, who hails from Samuel Prospect, also in the parish, and eventually got married in 2013,” according to Nelson. “She came to Jamaica, fell in love, married him, and after returning, filed for him,” added Nelson.

Nelson said Fairweather was a lively, fun-loving go-getter, but “she was of a strong of will”.

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