Tramangra Williams, called ‘Queenie,’ who is accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend Tyrone McDonald Best, yesterday told a court that the man ran into the knife, which she was using to keep him at bay during a confrontation.
“There is no way on Earth I would stab Tyrone. I only wanted him to back down and that is why I had the knife in my hand,” an emotional Williams testified in an unsworn statement after being called upon to lead a defence by Justice Navindra Singh, who is presiding over her trial.
Earlier in the trial, Kenneth Webster had testified that he saw Williams with a knife in her hand and that she appeared to be hugging Best
but when she moved away he saw the knife sticking out of the left side of Best’s chest.
According to reports, initial investigations indicated that Best, who lived at Section ‘D,’ South Sophia, was allegedly the victim of an armed robbery. According to the police, the victim was attacked and robbed by two men at Sophia. However, as police continued their investigations, Williams, also of South Sophia, was arrested and subsequently charged with the murder of Best.
She recalled that on the night of December 27th, 2008, the two left to visit her cousin’s father for money and some marijuana. According to her, Best was upset but decided to accompany her and the two went to the man’s home. “When we got there, (the man) was on the verandah. He invited us up but Tyrone wasn’t interested. I asked (the man) for the raise and he said to me, ‘Not right now, I flat. By this afternoon, I must get something for you.’ I asked him about the weed and he said, ‘later down,’” she said.
She added that they then went to the home of her friend, ‘Granny,’ and while on the way Best began to accuse her of having a relationship with the man and then started assaulting her.
“So I asked him wah is he problem and he said to me, ‘Don’t think I ain’t see the way he look at you. He want sex you.’ I say, ‘Man, you eyes pass me. The is me cousin father.’ He say, ‘I ain’t kay. The two of y’all got something going on.’
“Tyrone was annoyed and he grabbed me and put some sound slaps on my head. By the time I catch myself, my dress was just above my waist.”
She said that while at Granny’s home, she confided in her about Best’s behaviour and Granny told Best to go home and leave her but he refused. “I went out the yard to him because he wouldn’t go and we started walking towards James Street and Tyrone said to me, ‘I ain’t know why you gotta go and tell people we ****hole story. I should lick in yuh head right here.’ I said, ‘You problem is that you too obsessed.’ He said, ‘I gon show you what obsessed people does do.’ He started to beat, slap, punch and kick me. I was his punching bag,” she recounted.
Williams said that after the assault, Best disappeared and she went to seek help at the Human Services Ministry but was told it was closed. “The guard said to me, ‘We closed, we don’t open on weekend.’ I desperately needed somebody to speak to Tyrone. I knew if the police spoke to him he would be locked up and I didn’t want that,” she said.
She added that she went home with the intention of packing a bag for Best to go by one of her family members for a couple of days. “I called by my grandmother in East Ruimveldt and I asked her to accommodate him for a few days. Granny loved him so she didn’t have a problem.” She also said that she never told her family about the beatings she endured while in a relationship with Best.
Williams told the court that Best came home shortly after and the two had an argument when she told him that she wanted him to go by her grandmother. “Tyrone said he ain’t going nowhere and I told him that is only for a couple of days because his behaviour is atrocious right now…He said he ain’t going by no ****hole body house like a pauper. Once he started shouting, I became afraid and I was going to the police station to make a report,” she added.
According to Williams, while she was going to the station, Best picked up one of his sneakers and threw it at her and she turned around with a knife in her hand. “I turned around with the knife in my hand begging him to stop. Yes, I did have a knife, but the knife was to ward him off. I hoped that when he saw the knife he would just let me be, but when Tyrone saw the knife he bolted down the flight of stairs…I thought Tyrone would crucify me. Tyrone run into the knife, I would never willfully stab Tyrone. If I weren’t afraid I never would have had the knife in my hand,” she said.
She also testified that after Best was injured, she rushed him to the hospital and he told her that if the police asked what had happened, she should tell them that he was robbed and stabbed, “because if they know that I was beating you I could get in trouble.”
She stated that he was admitted to the hospital, after which he was released and readmitted after several days. He died shortly after. Williams said that after telling the police the story that Best had told her to give them, she told them the truth, because, “I love Tyrone too much not to give his family closure. Tyrone love for me was more than love, it was obsession.”
In her caution statement, which was read to the court last Friday by Police Inspector Nolan Burnett, Williams had said that after the argument escalated between the two and she told Best she was going to the police station to make a report, he picked up a shoe and threw it at her. “I was going down the stairway and he face me and he pick up one of his shoes and pelt it in my face. I had a knife in my hand and I turned around and I barely pushed the knife towards him and he got bore in his stomach,” she said in the statement.
The prosecution, led by Senior State Counsel Judith Gildharie-Mursalin, yesterday closed its case after the testimony of Ricardo Best, the brother of the deceased, who testified from Barbados via audio-visual link. He told the court that on January 12, 2009, he identified the body of his brother at the Georgetown Public Hospital. Best was asked by the jury about the nature of the relationship between the couple and whether he knew it was an abusive relationship. He said that the two were madly in the love and that his brother moved from Barbados to Guyana to be with Williams. He added that to his knowledge they were not in an abusive relationship.
Defence attorney Peter Hugh yesterday called his only witness, Eon Sam, who said that the accused had gone to his house for some money and he told her to come back. He said that he observed that she was bleeding and when he asked her what had happened she told him that, “her husband and her had problems and he was beating her up.”
Under cross-examination, Sam said he was surprised when he heard that she told the court that he supplied her with weed. He also said that he cannot recall going to the police to tell them what had transpired that day.
Gildharie-Mursalin suggested to Sam that he was only a witness of convenience to help Williams, but he maintained that he was only saying what he saw.
Best died on January 3, 2009, while a patient of the Georgetown Public Hospital. He had been hospitalised there after being stabbed in his abdomen on December 27. Government Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh on Monday had testified that he performed a post-mortem examination on January 12th, 2009 on Best, who died from haemorrhaging and shock as a result of perforation of the liver caused by a stab wound. Singh also said that the deceased had an incised wound on the lower right chest which was several days old.
The case will continue today with closing arguments from the prosecution and defence, after which Justice Singh will sum up the evidence and hand it over to the jury for deliberation.