Wife cleared in stabbing death of husband

Onika King was yesterday cleared of the fatal stabbing of her husband, Selwyn King, after Justice Roxane George directed that a formal verdict of not guilty to murder and to manslaughter be entered.

Following the discharge of the case, the state served a motion of intention to appeal the ruling. King was told that only she knew what happened on the day of the incident in 2006. She reacted to the judgement with tear-filled eyes.

King was not allowed to go free as she remained in police custody on a charge of escaping from lawful custody. While the case was being heard in the lower court, King is alleged to have escaped from police custody. She was captured in French-Guiana last October.

Last Friday, King’s lawyer Peter Hugh made no-case submissions to the effect that the state could not prove all the ingredients of the offence, arguing that it could not disprove self-defence or an accident so as to make her action unlawful.

The state was represented by attorneys Prathima Kissoon and Konyo Sanford, who in reply submitted that their case had negated the defence, and in particular through the evidence of main witness Osea Jacobs, who was standing on the landing of the couple’s Lot 1830 Unity Place, Festival City home, at the time of the incident.

However, Justice George upheld the no-case submissions and found that even if the jury had disbelieved the caution statement of King, there was not enough other evidence available to negate the defence. She then pulled the case from the jury and ordered that a formal verdict of not guilty be entered.

On December 13, 2006, Selwyn King sustained a single stab wound to the heart, which Onika King alleged that she inflicted in self-defence. She claimed that he was attacking her with a barbecue fork but during the trial evidence was given that she was the aggressor. Three witnesses testified that she used to beat her husband, in contrast to claims being made to the contrary.

Jacobs, a good friend of Selwyn King, testified that on the day of the attack, they were discussing plans for a village fair. Onika King reportedly overheard and according to her caution statement, when Jacobs left and Selwyn King went into the house, she confronted him about the conversation. As Jacobs was walking down the stairs, he said, he heard, “Aw! Yuh stab meh!” Afterward, he said, there was a commotion.

The woman, Jacobs said, subsequently went down the front step holding a knife with what appeared to be blood on it. She collected their motorcycle keys from Jacobs and left. Jacobs went upstairs and saw Selwyn King in a crouched position and he was asking for help. He was placed in a pickup to be taken to the hospital and around that time, Jacobs said, Onika King returned on the motorcycle and on seeing him, said “Yuh bitch! Yuh shoulda dead!”

It was revealed during the trial that the woman had made statements to a number of the state’s nine witnesses, including “Is I stab he. Yuh want some?” and “His mother… eyes pass me.”

Onika King, it was also claimed, had tried to lay the blame for the stabbing on Jacobs, asking a marshal at the hospital to tell the police that it was he (Jacobs) who stabbed her husband.

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