As tears streamed down her face, she went silent. And when she finally spoke again, her voice was marked by a painful quaver.
Less than three months ago, she had to bury her 21-year-old son who was stabbed and killed on May 14, 2022 in Tawes Meadows, Spanish Town, St Catherine, allegedly by his 17-year-old brother.
“Mi cyaa afford fi lose the two of them. Mi cyaa afford it,” the woman tearfully told the Jamaica Observer in an interview last Thursday.
“Right now, it a mash mi up. Mi just a beg God fi give him [younger son] a next chance. One done under the ground, and if one fi get sentenced it a guh harder pon mi. It a guh pressure mi wicked. Family support is there. The 21-year-old is my first son and him bury July 14. It rough. It wicked,” the distressed mother continued.
According to police reports, the brothers had a dispute about 11:00 am, and the 17-year-old boy allegedly used a knife to stab his older brother outside their home. Subsequently, the boy fled the scene. The wounded brother collapsed and was rushed to Spanish Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“Dem live good, suh mi nuh understand. It is just unfortunate. My big son love him bredda and him bredda love him too. Mi nuh know a wah come over him,” she said, noting that she was not at home at the time of the incident.
“Me did deh at work and left and went to town. A lady come and tell me that my sister passed in a car speeding. So, same time mi a try call mi sister and mi nuh get her. So, I called my other son’s girlfriend and ask what’s wrong and dem say my older son get stab. They said they rushed with him to hospital. Same time mi hang up,” she told the Sunday Observer.
The woman said she immediately turned to God in repeated prayer, but was soon after interrupted.
“I just started to pray. I was just praying. My phone started ringing and when I answered, it was doctors saying that I must come to Spanish Town Hospital. When I went down to the hospital and went inside to a doctor, the doctor talked to me and seh dem couldn’t get fi save him. Same time mi run through the hospital door and never guh back down there,” she recalled.
The St Catherine North police had launched a search for the 17-year-old accused, and urged the teen to report to the Spanish Town Police Station. People with information regarding his whereabouts were also asked to come forward.
That period was one of mourning, confusion and anguish for the young men’s mother. She said she was devastated by her older son’s death, but couldn’t help but worry about her younger son, whom she said wasn’t well, concurrently.
“I couldn’t sleep. I cry day and night. I just wanted even a call from him. Him never come back. I was fretting because him never have a phone and him can hardly spell him name. So, I wanted him to call so I could know what is what. Him kinda slow. If him tell yuh something now and you go back to him after, him tell yuh a different story,” she related.
Sources told the Sunday Observer that a week later, the family finally heard from the youngster, when he reached out via a phone call and told them that he was going to turn himself in.
The boy was then taken to Spanish Town Police Station by his attorney Alexander Shaw on the night of July 21.
He has since been charged and in police custody. In addition, last Tuesday, a judge ordered that a psychiatric evaluation be done on him.
“I don’t know how him get number to contact us. Him call and said ‘mi waah go in to the police. Mi waah go in.’ I didn’t know where he was. Somebody carry him in a car to the lawyer and then we went there. From him deh a lockup, a three times mi see him and I don’t get to ask him nothing about the incident,” the boy’s mother related.
“When him did a guh school, we did two tests on him and when we get back the results, they said he was very slow. Normally, he is always by himself. His father died when he was three months’ old. They have different fathers. And all the while, he asked me about him fatherâ€¦ so mi nuh know if it did a get to him. In school, if he spoke to his teacher five times, that was a lot. That’s why they told me to get him tested.
“And before, dem did mek mi carry him to counselling more than one time. Then police put me on to counselling and the same lady that usually counsel him, counselled me after everything.”