Jamaica: Man Accused Of Orchestrating Murder Of 2 Wives Denied Bail

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Two dead wives, a dead witness, a propensity for violence, and the ability to hire assassins were among the grounds a Supreme Court judge cited as prime reasons for denying bail to Portland businessman Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald, who is accused of orchestrating the murder of his two wives.

Justice Vinette Allen Graham, handing down the ruling in the Home Circuit court in downtown Kingston yesterday afternoon, said the court was satisfied that there were substantial grounds for believing that if the accused were released on bail he would fail to surrender to custody based on what faced him and the sentences that may be imposed.

“The accused is alleged to be responsible for the murder of his two wives. The court takes the view that these offences are serious offences, the nature is murder, it cannot get more serious than that,” Justice Allen Graham said.

She said the court was also of the opinion that the accused would commit another offence, but not by himself, as the allegations show that “his modus operandi is to hire persons to kill, [also] he will interfere with witnesses, or otherwise obstruct the course of justice, and so the application for bail in relation to Mr Everton McDonald is refused,” Justice Allen Graham declared.

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“The court holds the view that the evidence outlined so far, the allegations outlined on paper, are very strong,” she added.

McDonald was, in August last year, charged in relation to the death of his second wife, Tonia Hamilton-McDonald, whose partially burnt body was found with the throat slashed beside her burnt car on the Sherwood Forest main road a month before.

McDonald, also called Mr Mack, was charged along with 30-year-old Astor Barnes, otherwise called Tiny, of Epsom district, Annotto Bay, St Mary; and 56-year-old Denvalyn Minott, otherwise called Bubble, a fisherman of Ranch Hill, Portland.

The men were jointly charged by the police with murder and conspiracy to murder after an intense investigation. During the course of that probe, details emerged linking the accused to the murder of his first wife, Merlene McDonald, who had been shot dead outside her home in Boundbrook, Portland, in May 2009.

The allegations are that he had paid a police detective to kill her after their marriage crumbled in 2007 and she had left the matrimonial home.

Yesterday, Justice Allen Graham pointed out that, in granting bail to any defendant, the court has to take into account the nature and seriousness of the offence, the present character, antecedents, associations, and family ties of the accused.

According to the allegations before the court, McDonald gave the order for his second wife to be killed, “how it should be done and why”.

According to allegations, he wanted her to be stabbed, instead of being shot, because the first wife had been shot and he did not want the second killing to lead back to him.

McDonald is alleged to have told his accomplice that he would get $3 million to commit the murder.

Headline photo: Everton “Beachy Stout” McDonald and his second wife, Tonia McDonald.

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Editorial Staff
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