Shorn Samuel convicted of murder
October 17, 2008
Shorn Samuel convicted of murder

This is the unanimous verdict returned on Wednesday, October 15, at 2:45 p.m, by a 12-member mixed jury in the murder case involving Shorn Samuel.{{more}}

Samuel, who also goes by the moniker Abdul Rahim Parsons, was convicted of the brazen daylight beheading of 21-year-old Vermont resident Stacey Wilson on December 11, 2006, at the Leeward Bus Terminal.

Attorney Stephen Williams represented Samuel, while Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams and attorney Carl Williams led the case for the crown. They called twelve witnesses to give evidence in the matter. However, Samuel will not be sentenced until November 14, following the submission of social and psychiatric reports scheduled to be submitted to the court on or before November 7.

The first witness, Garfield Henderson, Senior Engineering Assistant at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, said on the day in question, he saw Samuel in the corridor of the steward’s office at the hospital where Wilson had been working at time. Henderson said at first he did not pay him any attention, but moments after, Henderson said he heard Samuel trying to get Wilson’s attention but to no avail.

The witness said he then asked Wilson if she knew Samuel and he (Samuel) replied: “She is my cousin.” Henderson said Samuel asked Wilson if he could speak with her for a minute and Wilson said: “I don’t want to talk to you.” The facts further stated that Stacey left work about 3:45 p.m. and headed to “Daddy’s Shop” at Victoria Park and caught the minibus “Refresh” bound for the Leeward Bus Terminal. Samuel also boarded the same minibus.

Passenger Mavis Alexander, of Penniston, told the court that while the van was parked at the bus terminal, Wilson, who was seated in front of her, had moved to a different seat because of the constant harassment by Samuel. “I saw when Stacey went to sit next to another girl, then I hear Shorn start to grumble and then Stacey say leave me alone,” Alexander stated. It came to a point where Wilson left her seat and sat behind the driver. “After that I see Shorn get up and I see a cutlass drop out from his right back pocket and he grab it and put it back,” she related.

Then, Samuel got out the van and stood by the conductor’s door. It was then that clock on Wilson’s life started winding down to its bitter end. Alexander recounted that Samuel pulled the cutlass from his waist and started firing chops at Wilson. “All I could see is Stacey fall over into the driver’s lap and was struggling to get out.” Alexander said she ran out the van and went under the bus shed for safety. “I then see Stacey to the side of the van trying to defend chops from Shorn and then I see ah piece of she hand been gone. After that I see he drag she by she hand and started to saw off her head and then hold it up, kiss it and throw it back pon the ground,” Alexander sadly recalled.

Another witness recalled seeing Samuel holding Wilson’s head under his arm and sawing it off until it was hanging by a piece of skin at the back. The witness added that he held up her neck and chopped away the remaining skin and tossed her head away. The witness further stated that some men pelted bottles at Samuel, whereupon he attempted to chase them, but stopped. The police later came to the scene and arrested Samuel.

The wide eyes and open mouths visible in court as the evidence was presented told the tale of just how heinous the crime was. Samuel, who acted in a disrespectful manner to the court even before the case got underway, sat in the defendant’s box and covered his ears with his fingers as evidence continued to be led against him. When the brown uniform that Wilson had been wearing at the time of her death was shown, her mother, Emelia Nanton, broke down when she saw the torn and bloody fabric.

From the moment her daughter’s name was mentioned, Nanton sobbed bitterly as she tried to give evidence from the witness stand. Nanton told the court that Samuel was her distant cousin and came to visit at their home in Vermont on a regular basis. The grieving mother said it started to get out of hand when Samuel kept telling Wilson that he wanted her to be his wife. She said Wilson did not appreciate him saying those things and they had stopped him from coming to their home.

Nanton noted that Samuel had apologized and continued his regular visits to their home. “After that he would come again and start molesting Stacy. He would come to our house before she (Stacey) leaves for work and say girl I love you and you have to be my wife,” Nanton said. She even recalled at one time she had to throw a bowl of Clorox in Samuel’s face for him to leave her home.

The post mortem report read by surgical pathologist Dr Ronald Child stated that Wilson died as a result of dismemberment and multiple chop wounds.

Perhaps the most crucial part of the prosecution’s case came from the evidence of Dr Amrie Morris-Patterson, Senior Registrar at the Mental Health Centre. Dr Morris-Patterson gave an overview of Samuel’s mental history. It was heard that Samuel was noted to have a long history of marijuana abuse since the age of 10. In 1996, he was admitted to the Kingsboro Psychiatric Centre in Brooklyn, New York, for persecutory delusion and acute psychotic episode. On January 10, 2002, Samuel was admitted to the Mental Health Centre here for a 20-day assessment after he broke a window at the National Commercial Bank. Samuel had said then that the police were against him and were jealous of him. He also stated that he never got some money that was sent to him from Saudi Arabia. Samuel stated that it was only because he was a Muslim living in St Vincent that the people were pressuring him and they felt he was related to Bin Laden.

The day after Samuel committed the heinous act, Dr Morris-Patterson interviewed him at the Mental Health Centre. The doctor said Samuel was reluctant at first to answer the questions and insisted that he had a Lawyer present. Morris-Patterson told the court that the defendant spoke correctly of his rights during the interview. She added that he referred to the Q’uran and stated that the only reason he was sitting there is because he is a Muslim.

During cross-examination, Samuel’s defence attorney Stephen Williams asked if it was possible that his client had been experiencing a psychiatric episode at the time the act was committed, but Dr Morris-Patterson said that it was highly unlikely. She added that Samuel was alert throughout the entire interview and in a sound mind. Williams said that the records show that it was approximately every five years that his client had had to be admitted to a mental institution.

In addressing the jury, Williams hinted to the jury that Samuel was acting out of insanity and that that should be considered very strongly.