Witness recants statement in Beachy Stout murder trial

DENVALYN Minott, the second of a long list of witnesses in the Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald murder trial, went back on his word on Tuesday in the Home Circuit Court, Kingston, proclaiming that he lied about the number of times he went to Tonia McDonald’s home in Dolphin Bay, Portland, to have her killed.

Tonia was eventually murdered on July 20, 2020 allegedly by Oscar Barnes, after he was subcontracted by Minott to kill her. Minott has always maintained that he was contracted by Beachy Stout to kill Tonia and because he couldn’t stab her and cut her throat as allegedly requested by Beachy Stout, he hired Barnes to do it.

“I never went to the house with Mr Barnes on four occasions. We went there on three occasions. The fourth time was to kill Mrs Mac. We drove to Sherwood Forest. Mrs Mac drove her car. I met her in Port Antonio, Portland. I never went to her house at all that day,” Minott told presiding Judge Chester Stamp, the jury, defence attorneys and prosecutors.

He said he had made a mistake when he said he went to the house with Barnes “four times and not three” in reference to the number of times he went there, allegedly under pressure from Beachy Stout, to kill her.

It was not long after Minott made those pronouncements, that the trial encountered a sudden twist.

The trial ran into a stumbling block after defence attorney, Christopher Townsend, discovered a serious issue with the disclosure of statements in the case.

Townsend is just one of four attorneys-at-law representing Beachy Stout. He came across a statement, which was allegedly given by current witness, Denvalyn Minott, that the defence team had no clue about.

While Townsend cross-examined the witness, the attorney read a statement that was very unfamiliar and immediately pointed the problem out to presiding Judge Chester Stamp.

“We have observed a serious disclosure issue,” Townsend told the court.

“There are two written statements concerning this witness that were never served. The first is five pages and the second one is 16 pages, handwritten. They relate to this case significantly,” he added.

The prosecution also appeared dumbstruck.

According to the prosecutor, Sophia Rowe, “We have been serving certain documents ongoing. I am just as surprised as my friend to know that they were not served. We have served everything we had on file about two weeks ago.”

Townsend was quick to point out that the defence team was at no point made aware of the statements.

Judge Stamp subsequently scolded the prosecution, saying, “This is an extraordinarily shocking development. It is the kind of disclosure that should result in sanction, but I can’t see any course of action that will be in the interest of justice.”

Townsend told the court he has perused the documents and said it contained very significant information which he would have used to advance the case, had he been aware of it.

Justice Stamp asked the witness how many statements in total he gave to the police, and he said he gave them three.

The matter was stood down to give time for all parties involved to go through the documents.

The court was subsequently made aware that there could be at least 10 crucial documents outstanding.

Justice Stamp, while addressing the seven-member jury comprising three women and four men, said, “The parties involved will need time to review material before the trial can continue. It is a complicated matter and checks have to be made. I am going to ask you to return on Thursday at 2:00 pm.”

Beachy Stout is on trial for the murder of his second wife, Tonia McDonald. Barnes is being tried alongside Beachy Stout, as it is alleged that he was subcontracted to do the hit and that he was directly responsible for stabbing Tonia to death and cutting her throat on the Sherwood Forest main road in Portland, before setting her and her motor vehicle on fire. The murder occurred on July 20, 2020.

According to the witness, Beachy Stout promised to give him $3 million dollars to kill Tonia, his wife, whom he accused of cheating on him with a policeman, robbing over $30 million from his account and, overall, destroying his name in the streets.

The witness, Minott, claimed he couldn’t carry out the murder himself and as a result subcontracted Barnes for the killing.

Minott is currently serving a near 10-year prison sentence for being the contractor in the murder. He agreed to give state evidence in the case, which he is doing now.