by Nisha Paul
Two of the nation’s youth had their lives cut short by acts of violence and the use of deadly weapons at different locations in St. George, within a four-day time span.
Dead are Khalid Griffith of Perdmontempts, St. David and 21-year-old Bradley Francis of the Grand Anse area in the south of the island.
Francis, the latest murder victim, met his unfortunate demise during the wee hours of Monday morning, after receiving a stab wound in his back and what appeared to be chop wounds on his right shoulders, in the vicinity of the Woburn Community Centre.
The incident occurred exactly 4 days after last week Wednesday’s stabbing to death of Griffith, who is the son of reigning Calypso Monarch Kelly “Rootsman Kelly” Clyne.
Griffith was found lying in a pool of blood on the ground somewhere in the vicinity of the Grand Anse Beach area, close to the popular Umbrellas Restaurant with multiple stab wounds to his neck and arm.
A 32-year-old Labourer from Birchgrove, St. Andrew, was charged with Non-Capital Murder in connection to the death of Griffith.
Tesday Mc Sween, who was slapped with the indictable charge last week Friday, appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill on Monday at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court in the city.
The murder suspect, who currently resides at Marian in St. George, found himself in trouble with the law after allegedly using a weapon, believed to be a knife to inflict the wounds on Griffith.
THE NEW TODAY understands that police officers who attended to the crime scene immediately took Griffith to the St. George’s General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy concluded that he died from hypovolemic shock.
Sources told THE NEW TODAY that the murder suspect was taken into custody within two hours of the incident.
According to a source, officers at South St. George’s Police Station were able to get a description of the suspect and later that night spotted him in the Grand Anse area and took him into custody.
“I heard that the police were in a vehicle and just passed a man walking the road when one of the officers said that looked like the man we are looking for. The driver turned the vehicle around and blocked the road and when they approached the man he admitted on spot that he jook the man (Griffith) with a knife.
“The police asked him about the weapon and he told them that he threw it away.
The murder suspect, who has a recent conviction for Manslaughter, has been remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison until his next court appearance on August 10.
The death of 24-year-old Griffith comes weeks before his father takes the big stage to defend his Calypso Monarch title at the highly anticipated national Dimanche Gras competition.
The Calypsonian told reporters that his son’s sudden death has left his family devastated.
“When I went inside that room and saw my son lying down on that bed with blood and all the stab wounds, it’s just too much for me to bear… he was a good boy and spent the most time with me as a son even though I had a son before him, my eldest son didn’t grow up with me but Khalid, on the other hand stayed with me from a baby,” the bereaved father said.
Rootsman Kelly indicated that his son and the alleged perpetrator had a clash the Sunday before.
“So, apparently, he (murder suspect) came back to the beach yesterday evening and saw Khalid and stood in the dark and as he was walking along, decided to attack him and escape”, he said.
The reigning calypso monarch disclosed that approximately two-and-a-half years ago, a similar tragedy struck his family.
“I lost a member of my family through violence years ago – he was the same age as my son…and up to this day I didn’t get over that incident…and now my son suffered the same fate and this is really hard on all of us who knew him”, he told reporters.
“This has really taken a toll on me. I still can’t get myself to sleep or eat because I really wasn’t expecting that,” said Clyne, who is unsure whether this tragedy will have an impact on his ability to defend his crown on Dimanche Gras night.
Rootsman Kelly also said: “When we heard the news, I was really afraid for my mom who collapsed after hearing the news. So, this one hit the family really hard and especially at a time like now when I am supposed to be concentrating on defending my title”.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Nelson was still reviewing the police files on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Francis.
Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that two teenagers, ages 17 and 18, were picked up by police on Monday in connection with the death.