“It come like a fight for me to defend myself.”
This was the claim made by Glenroy Primus, the man who swung the cutlass that killed the Mt Pleasant farmer and his neighbour, Hilton Thomas.
On Wednesday November 16, news broke that Thomas had been killed in a chopping incident at the hands of Primus.
The police account details that Thomas and Primus came to high words after Primus accused Thomas of “going to steal”.
It is said that Primus then went into Thomas’s yard and allegedly chopped the now deceased with a cutlass several times about the body.
However Primus has given a different version of events, stating that he was in fact not the aggressor but rather that Thomas attacked him first, forcing him to fight for his life.
Primus, also a farmer, spoke to SEARCHLIGHT in an exclusive interview from his hospital bed at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) where he is currently warded, nursing injuries he sustained during the attack.
Dressed only in his underclothes with dried blood still on his arms and legs, Primus explained that the incident occurred at around 1 am when a vehicle, driven by a man from the community, and with Thomas as a passenger, arrived in the area to drop the deceased to his home.
The driver called out to Primus’s house asking if he could have some oranges and Primus said he carried the items out to the man.
Primus said from the time he exited his home Thomas “fly bad word pun me”.
Primus said from his own yard, he replied asking Thomas what was the reason for the verbal assault.
“The driver push me way and say ‘boy’ and push me tell me go ‘way. Me gone back in me house.”
Primus said Thomas then came over into his yard, shouting and demanding that he come out of the house.
“… Me nah really asleep, but me just lay down, the boy (Thomas) come banging on the door. Me and the man na cuss, so me say what he ah do me that fo?”
Primus admitted he and the deceased had had disagreements “a few years back”, stemming from Thomas’s animals going onto his farm and eating his produce. Primus said he had filed reports with police and Thomas had been warned to keep his animals off his land.
“If he animal come by me, me ah go make noise, but that done and time pass and it come like me na study he,” Primus told SEARCHLIGHT.
He said Thomas continued to bang on his door.
“I say the man like he come fo kill me. He say ‘Come out’, so me go and see long cutlass. A new brand cutlass. When me go push the door at the back of the house, he come ‘round now, and me go and me push out. He come chop chop me now.”
The ‘chop chop’ referred to by Primus are the cutlass wounds inflicted on him by Thomas.
Primus suffered four chop wounds: two to the top of his head, a chop wound to the left side of the face and ear and extending to the back of the neck, requiring 50 stitches to close. He also sustained a chop wound to the left shoulder, approximately eight inches across where the bone was exposed. Primus said this injury causes him the most pain.
Primus revealed that he also was armed with a cutlass during the attack.
“Me go fo fire one [chop] and it (the cutlass) drop.”
Primus said after he lost grip on his own cutlass, they wrestled each other to gain control of Thomas’s cutlass.
“Me hold him ah ground and me get a stone.”
Primus said he used the stone to hit Thomas but he said the blow was not enough to immobilize the man. The tussle for the cutlass continued and Primus said he was able to pull the weapon from Thomas’s hands and hold on to it.
He said that is when he hit Thomas with it.
When asked what was the reason why Thomas attacked him that morning, Primus said he believed the deceased was jealous of the success of his farm.
An exhausted Primus said he does not feel good about the outcome of the incident and he added “me done mek up me mind to serve time”.
A female relative of Primus told SEARCHLIGHT she is upset about the inconsistencies contained in the report issued by the Police Public Relations and Complaints Department.
“There are blood stains in his (Primus) yard, not the deceased’s yard. If the deceased had accomplished what he came to do at 1:30 in the morning and Primus was dead, all the witnesses around are the deceased’s family members and no one would have had any evidence to tell the police what they heard or saw. He lives alone and he was alone that night.”
Highlighting the photo circulating on social media which shows a bare-backed Primus holding the murder weapon and covered in blood, the relative said: “The picture going around is of the deceased’s (Thomas) collins. Glenroy Primus’s cutlass, is a farmer’s cutlass where you can see that it is work he does do.”
She described Primus as a dedicated farmer who was not known to be violent.
“He don’t trouble a soul. He is not known to his neighbours as a trouble maker or to the community. He is a passionate farmer. He up in the mountain alone and called out of his house at 1:30 in the morning and attacked.”
The relative called on police to conduct an impartial and thorough investigation and not allow familial ties to the deceased to influence the case.
Up to the time of publication of this article, no charges had been laid against Primus. He remains warded at the MCMH under 24-hour police watch.