Three female family members of a woman who died in hospital after she was stabbed in Kingstown on Saturday February 4, say they believe the hangman’s noose should be the penalty for persons who commit murders.
These three women are also calling on persons who are in abusive relationships to get out as soon as possible, while another woman, an aunt of the victim, is hoping that the person who is guilty of her niece’s murder can contemplate on the stabbing and change his mindset.
These sentiments were expressed by relatives of Altavea Billingy, a 28-year-old woman from Chester Cottage who died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on Saturday, February 4, 2023 after she was stabbed that same day.
Billingy is the mother of two boys, six and 10 years old.
On Tuesday, February 7, Eldon “Max” Charles was arraigned in the Serious Offences Court. He was not required to plea to the indictable charge that on February 4, at Grenville Street, Kingstown, with malice aforethought he caused the death of Altavea Billingy of Chester Cottage by an unlawful act. He has been remanded and the matter is adjourned to April 17, 2023.
Charles, a 35-year-old tradesman of Cedars, is Altavea’s former lover.
On Monday, February 6, SEARCHLIGHT visited Chester Cottage and spoke to family members of the deceased woman.
Idor Billingy, Altavea’s mother who lives in Trinidad spoke to SEARCHLIGHT via her son’s cellular phone. Also speaking about Altavea were her aunt, Marcella Andrews and her cousins, Melisia Billingy, Lovinda Andrews and Perricia Andrews.
Before her death, Altavea worked as a caretaker and had moved to New Montrose from Cedars a few weeks ago. Family members alleged she was fleeing from an unwanted relationship.
Marcella said she and her niece were very close and she spoke to her on Friday, February, 3. She said she is saddened and hurt about what happened and at times she feels numb.
She said Altavea met Charles in 2021 before La Soufriere erupted and went to live with him after the eruptions because the rented place she was evacuated to during the eruptions was overcrowded, and the landlord said some persons had to move.
“Personally, I am not a bitter person and I feel sorry for him and when I say I feel sorry for him, I feel sorry for him because I think that he is a coward and I think he doesn’t have any sense because if he had sense, he would have used his senses. He did not use it in absolutely no way, so I feel sorry for him,” Altavea’s aunt said.
“I’m not going to say, oh somebody should go and murder him or whatever…I hope if they give him any time in jail I hope he would stay there and concentrate on what he did and let it get to him and when he leave form there he would be a better person.”
She said Altavea left the relationship and told her (Marcella) that she did not want to go back to Charles. She (Marcella) said Charles had also spoken to her, admitting that he had flaws and told her he wanted Altavea to move back in with him because he loved her.
“He said to me, ‘I am not an angel myself, I do things too, but I love Altavea and want she to come back home with me’…,” Marcella related while adding that Altavea said that everything may have looked nice on the outside but that was not the case and she would not go back.
Marcella also related that Charles told her that “he does some things” and he does not know how Altavea finds out.
“Tavea told me she find them out by his phone,” Marcella said. She added that she did not ask if her niece was being mistreated.
“I don’t think anybody, man or woman runs from good; and I think if there was any good there, she would not want to leave,” Marcella commented while encouraging women in abusive
relationships not to hide what is happening to them.
“From the time it starting, get out as fast as you can and the best way that you think is safe for you. If you have to, go to your neighbour or call anyone, whatever you have to do in the best interest of you, get out of that abusive relationship because I am 60 something years of age and I see too much of this is happening in life and the end thereof is always death, so get out…” Marcella stressed.
Melisia said she knew her cousin all her life describing her as a loving family oriented person who loved her children.
“I don’t know the details, but I know recently they (Altavea, Sylven and Charles) came up here and from what I saw, now that everything has played out, I kind of have an idea of what was happening there,” said Melisia in relation to Altavea’s failed relationship.
“He wasn’t giving her any space…,” she added while noting that her cousin was 28 years old and in the prime of her life.
“I believe in the death penalty, there is a lot of things I believe in because I also believe in an eye for an eye too… “I would like to say to women out there who are in abusive relationships, it’s never too late to get out. It doesn’t matter what you are getting from the relationship. It doesn’t matter how bad the situation seems like you have nowhere to turn to, it can only get better if you get out,” Melisia encouraged.
Altavea’s cousin, Lovinda said she is also saddened about the death of Altavea and she did not deserve to die like that as she is not an argumentative or violent person.
She said this is not the first time the family is experiencing something like this; her brother’s son was killed in Trinidad, but this murder has shaken her up more than the first one.
“It really hit me hard…I really believe in the death penalty, trust me, too much violence in St.Vincent and I think the death penalty will try to ease up some of that,” Lovinda said.
Another of Altavea’s cousins, Perricia, said she and her cousin grew up together and she saw her every morning in Kingstown as she (Perricia) works in Campden Park and Altavea would be taking her son, Joshua, to school around the same time the van from Chester Cottage would arrive at the bus terminal.
“I want to rest assured and encourage people who are inside of domestic violence to get out of it, and to the youngsters, to put down the guns…Altavea would be missed by all of us,” Perricia told SEARCHLIGHT.
She said the killing of her cousin, who she described as “fun loving”, makes her angry. “…we need to implement the death penalty of hanging men. I am strongly of it seeing this is happening and it is very hard seeing a young lady at the age of 28 years old have to leave behind two children, two sons.”
Billingy’s death is the eight homicide recorded for 2023 in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).