(Jamaica Observer) The family of 34-year-old inmate Garfield Campbell is still perplexed about how he came to be electrocuted in his cell at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre last Wednesday evening.
Reports are that at about 5:45 pm Wednesday, Campbell, who was serving a life sentence for killing a cop, attempted to open the metal grille door to his cell which had mysteriously become electrified. He died on the spot from severe electrical burns.
The Campbells claim they were not contacted by the institution about their relative’s untimely demise and learnt of the incident through a friend via a phone call that evening. They told the Sunday Observer that even after contacting the institution, personnel there remained tight-lipped.
It wasn’t until about 10:00 am the following day, that Campbell’s probation officer called to tell the family she heard he had died, but did not know under what circumstances.
“We heard he was electrocuted on the grille,” Ricardo Campbell, brother of the deceased, told the Sunday Observer Thursday. It is believed that raw wire was inserted into an outlet and attached to Garfield’s cell door.
Campbell’s parents, two brothers, sister, and a few members of this extended family, along with close friends sat in the living room at their Kingston home trying to wade through the deepening pool of information about how his life ended.
“It can’t be an accident,” said Courtney Campbell, another brother of the deceased.
“It don’t add up. That much current not suppose to be in the institution that it can kill you.”
Courtney said it was incomprehensible that something like this could happen while persons were in the care of the state.
“They always say, within institutions, once you under the Government’s hands, you have nothing there to take you life.
“You are in prison and you in a cell, so how come a wire could leave come over your cell and you get shock and die?” Courtney asked, looking genuinely perplexed.
“How come a man can be in his cell and get electrocuted that way?”
Campbell’s mother said her son had asked her for a 100-watt bulb and the warders had refused, saying he was not allowed to have one, therefore it was hard to decipher how the jail cell door had become electrified.
But Sunday Observer sources in the prison system say it may have been the result of a quarrel with other inmates, who may have rigged Campbell’s metal cell door.
Ricardo said he cannot imagine what could have taken place inside the prison, as his brother was always very cautious.
“I am not even sure what really took place.
“It’s just shocking because he trust no one. He was always very careful.” He said his brother lived alone in his cell.
The family explained that Campbell was sentenced to death after being found guilty of killing a police officer at a bar off Slipe Pen Road in Kingston.