Woman on trial over Coverden backyard murder

It is alleged that on August 31, 2001, Young, also known as Jennifer Loncke, murdered Edward Williams, a man who she had employed to complete some construction work on a home she had recently bought.

Williams’ body was discovered the following day by police with multiple chop wounds, buried in the woman’s backyard beneath some tyres.

Five witnesses, comprising three police officers, Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh and the cousin of the accused, testified in the matter and have so far revealed that the accused was keeping some documents for Williams and on the day in question the two were heard having a heated argument.

About 11 pm, neighbours allegedly heard chopping noises against concrete and the sound of breaking glass.

It was reported that one neighbour heard someone say “Mommy, I feel blood spill on me” and in response, someone else said, “Turn off the light”.

From a neighbour’s yard, the relative who testified in the matter, Sharon Williams, said she saw the accused standing in the yard with a cutlass in her hand. She told the court that a male cousin shouted out, inquiring what had happened and Jennifer had said “self defence”.

When the police arrived on the scene, the court heard, the accused and a girl were sweeping what appeared to be bloody water and glass off of the concrete and the accused had related that a window broke when Edward Williams pelted it.

When the police further ventured into the yard, two bloody cutlasses were seen lying together in the sand with a third, just 6-7 feet away, stuck in an upright position, also covered with blood.

The accused reportedly said she was unaware of where the blood came from.

The body of Williams was discovered the following day when police returned to the home for further investigation.

Defence Counsel Nigel Hughes said that Sharon Williams had a problem with his client and as a result, fabricated the evidence that was given. Young, in an unsworn statement from the dock, said that she is a registered nurse’s assistant in New York City, U.S.A., and at the time of the incident, was on vacation in Guyana with her four children.

She told the court that she had bought a Coverden, East Bank Demerara property from her cousin and employed Williams to do some construction work.

According to the accused, on the day in question, Williams went to the home to inquire if there was anything that needed to be done and he was told that there wasn’t. Young said the man then asked her if there was anything that she could have done which would help him to go to New York and again she told him no. This, she said, prompted the man to begin cursing and she in return “let him have it”, further telling him not to return to her house.

Young described a “glass lawn house” which sat in her front yard, storing shovels, cutlasses and other such implements. She told the court that around 9:30pm she was in her home when she heard loud sounds like that of breaking glass. She said she called a friend and was advised to stay indoors with her children, adding that she was very afraid.

The woman stated that she heard her window being broken and also noises as if someone was scaling her fence and she remained in her house. Forty-five minutes later, she recalled, when the place went silent, she peeked outside and saw a number of persons gathered on the road and in nearby yards.

When asked what had happened, Young said she told persons that she “think someone scale the fence” but she was alright.

As she proceeded into the yard, she said she came upon some broken glass which kept her from going forward and as a result, she sent her daughter for a broom, noting that it was the glass she was sweeping when police officers arrived on the scene.

After explaining what had happened to the police, Young said, they walked through her home but did not find anything. She said that she was told by the police that she would be taken to the station for safety reasons.

Dr. Singh, in giving his evidence, told the court that the multiple chop wounds the deceased suffered could have only been caused by a very sharp cutlass or chopper.

This matter is scheduled to continue on Wednesday when the closing addresses will be heard while Justice Patterson will sum up the case on Friday.

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