Sophia house torched after row between brothers

Police are now searching for a man who has been accused of torching his brother’s ‘A’ Field, Sophia house, in what is believed to be a premeditated act due to longstanding tensions.

Jason Wilson’s small wooden house, located at Lot 108 ‘A’ Field, Sophia, was gutted within a matter of minutes after the fire started around 11.20 am yesterday.

At the time, one of Wilson’s seven children, two-year-old Patrick, who is said to be asthmatic, was in the yard and he was rescued by persons in the area after they noticed the smoke.

Jason Wilson

At the time, Wilson was not at home as he had left the house to avoid the suspect, Leroy Kennedy. Kennedy, 23, allegedly doused the house in gasoline and set it alight before fleeing. Up to yesterday afternoon, he was yet to be apprehended.

Although the Guyana Fire Service was alerted, by the time a firetruck arrived at the scene, the house was already destroyed.

Wilson told Stabroek News that he and Kennedy have had a contentious relationship for almost six years since Kennedy was released from prison after killing another brother, Sherwin Kennedy.

Kennedy was accused of fatally stabbing his then 18-year-old brother, Sherwin, in February 2012 over an argument over a pair of pants.

Wilson said he returned home two weeks ago after a trip overseas and found that his brother had moved into his home with his family. “When I come back, I see me house part off in two. Suh, I decide fuh ask them now is wah really going on hay,” he said.

He related that Kennedy then told him that if he wanted him to move, he could put his belongings out of the house. “He trying fuh bully me fuh get my place. But this is my house. I build this house,” he added.

He said he told Kennedy that he needed to take his family and belongings and move. He added that when his family moved, Kennedy became annoyed.

Wilson explained that he went to his house yesterday morning for tools when Kennedy began to verbally abuse him. “He words to me is that I is a cross. He seh, ‘I fed up ah yuh. I gon’ kill you… because all ayo is pest in me life’,” Wilson related.

As a result, Wilson said he went next door to his mother’s house to inform her that he wanted Kennedy out of the his house. However, he said no one paid him any attention.  “I seh wah! Suh I go over and I start explain to me mother them. I seh, ‘Man, I need this man [Kennedy] out meh house! Because I go away and left me house lock up and I come back and meet he wife and he children, he step children and everybody in meh house and he part off everything. So I seh I need meh house to be empty. I cuss up he [Kennedy’s] children mother and them thing. I cuss up everybody, meh mother and meh grandmother, everything because I seh everybody siding with he and nobody ain’t listening to me. Is like a one side thing,” he explained.

He further noted that over the years he had been trying to avoid arguments with Kennedy and was seeking to lead him on the right path.

“…He don’t buy clothes. ‘Yuh working hard, going in the interior, we all doing this wuk…we all elevating we self and yuh down pressing yuhself.’ Just suh I tell he. Duh is meh words to he as the eldest one. I trying fuh tell he pull he self-up,” he said.

However, he said Kennedy got angry and tried to attack him.

“After he start behave bad and argue and want juk me up and thing, I just run round hay suh,” he said, while noting that he then got a call from a friend, who told him that his wife wanted to see him.

Wilson said that just as he rode off, he noticed the house was on fire.

Wilson also said that he believes the act was premediated   Kennedy had allegedly already bought a one litre bottle of gasoline and tried to douse him. “…He run in he grandmuddah house and he hustle fuh throw it on me, and I back off from he and as he can’t get fuh throw it on me, he decide fuh light meh house on fire,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, Wilson’s common-law wife, Ronetta, lamented that her son could have been injured by the fire if neighbours had not noticed him early. “Me son asthmatic. An asthmatic child and yuh light the house on fire! Mattress, everything and you ain’t business if smoke did kill me child in this yard,” she said.

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