Murder times three
by Sandra Downes
In the midst of cries throughout the country about violence and our youth, yet another young man appeared in a Bridgetown Court today charged with five serious offences, including three murders.
Michael Kenan Blackett, of Block 2C Flat Rock, St George is accused of murdering Ashem Telemaque, Kemar Leacock and Charles Ellis this year. Further, the 21-year-old is accused of unlawfully and maliciously wounding Tremayne Blenman and Shawn Lorde this year as well.
Ellis was shot at Ashby Alley, Nelson Street, The City on May 5 and later succumbed to his injuries at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on May 27.
Leacock died after being shot at Bottom Close, Wildey, St Michael and Telemaque was shot on May 5 at Pump It Up Bar in Fordes Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael.
In relation to the other charges, Blackett faces two more counts of unlawfully wounding Shawn Lorde on August 4 and Tremayne Blenman on January 22. Lorde was reportedly shot in the chest while at Pump It Up Bar, while Blenman also suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.
Accused Blackett, with hair plaited in four corn-rows and donning a short-sleeved grey shirt and a black jeans, stood calmly and looked extremely relaxed in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court dock as Magistrate Graveney Bannister read each charge to him. At times he rubbed his palms together or tucked the back of his shirt into his pants and at one point, broke into a broad smile.
On one occasion when he rested his hands on the dock though, the magistrate instructed him to “stand properly”.
As he stood in a somewhat slouched position, Blackett occasionally looked toward two women who were in the courtroom and mouthed to them several times, “Don’t cry”.
The murder-accused was escorted into the courtroom by plain-clothes police officers but when he was leaving, the accused man took the time while at the top of the court step to acknowledge the small gathering in the courtyard.
He struck a quick pose as he placed the tips of his thumbs together and pointed his forefingers upward before being hustled into a waiting vehicle.
“I got you back, Mikie” and “Stay strong” were sentiments which came from among the women gathered outside as police accompanied him to the vehicle.
Blackett was remanded and the matter transferred to Magistrates’ Court No. 2 for November 23.
He was represented by attorney-at-law Sian Lange.
Queries made among attorneys and police officers revealed that none of them could recall any occasion when a person had been accused of three murders.
Even though the Campus Trendz incident where six young women lost their lives in a fire came to mind – and for which two teenagers were later charged – no one interviewed could remember one accused being charged with separate counts of murder.