A man who killed his 24-year-old girlfriend in Negril, Westmoreland and then fled the island for four years, was on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to the murder.
The convict, Ayele Russell, appeared in the Westmoreland Circuit Court, where he confessed to murdering Nadian Shantal Dyer, and was sentenced on the same day.
High Court Judge Courtney Daye ordered that Russell should serve 24 years before being eligible for parole consideration.
The disclosures were made in a statement from the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecution (ODPP) on Wednesday.
Prior to his sentence being handed down, the convict, through his attorney, Herwin Stuart, sought permission to address the court.
According to the statement, Russell spoke to Dyer’s mother, who was virtually present at the sentencing hearing.
“Good Afternoon, this is Ayele Russell. I would like to apologise to (name redacted) and her family,” Russell was quoted by the ODPP as having said.
Continuing, he said: “It was only a moment of passion. I am sorry about that. I am sorry (name redacted).”
The allegations, as outlined by the ODPP, are that Dyer was involved in an “intimate relationship” with Russell, who was 21 years old at the time.
In 2016, Dyer and her infant daughter moved into Russell’s room, which also had a kitchen and bathroom at the back of a family house in Negril, Westmoreland.
But by April of 2017, the couple began to have arguments, as described by witnesses.
“On one occasion, the accused (now convict) and (the now) deceased were fighting and a witness intervened and held onto the accused,” the ODPP outlined.
Dyer and Russell were again heard arguing in their room on April 17, 2017, the last day she was seen alive.
“The next day, there was a strong scent of disinfectant emanating from the direction of the accused man’s (Russell’s) room… On Sunday, April 23, 2017, the accused (Russell) was seen leaving the premises with a knapsack on his back, and later informed a family member that he was in ‘NY’,” the ODPP stated.
Dyer’s mother became concerned about the well-being of her daughter, and visited the local police station several times.
On June 5, 2017, Dyer’s mother was escorted by the police to Russell’s room at his family’s house.
The door, which was securely locked with a padlock and chains, was breached by the officers, and entry was gained.
Inside the room, construction buckets were seen on the floor, and there was an area where cement appeared to have been mixed. A mattress was also seen leaned up against a wall with what appeared to be blood on it.
The mattress was removed and “a rectangular shaped structure was seen”, according to the ODPP.
Law enforcers were able to break into the structure on June 7, 2017.
“Inside the structure, an object was seen wrapped in plastic and below a sheet of zinc. The object was removed and was later revealed to be the naked body of a female,” the statement said.
The body was not immediately identified, due to the state of decomposition. However, it was observed to have had stab wounds to the abdomen and right arm.
On June 22, 2017, the body was identified to be that of Dyer.
“The post-mortem report revealed that no definite opinion can (could) be given because of the advanced (state of) decomposition. However, death was attributed to the stab wound to the abdomen, in view of discoloration of the mesentry,” informed the ODPP.
No detail was provided on the whereabouts of Dyer’s daughter, who was reportedly missing at the time of her mother’s disappearance and the subsequent discovery of her body.
Russell was later deported to Jamaica after having been arrested, convicted and served time for an offence in the United States.
He was informed of Dyer’s murder on August 1 of last year, and a warrant was executed on him.
When cautioned, he said, “Mi want mi lawyer”.
Russell was subsequently charged with murder, which he later confessed to having committed.