DPP to Seek Death Penalty against Rushane Barnett

The office of Director of Public Prosecutions is to seek the death penalty against the man accused of the quintuple murder in Clarendon, 23 year old Rushane Barnett. He is accused of slashing the throats of the mother and her 4 children, who were discovered at their residence on Monday, June 20. The notice was served to him when he appeared in court for the first time on June 28, 2022. The last time someone was sentenced to death was in 1988, 34 years ago.

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the office of the director of public prosecution explained what led to the decision. “The provisions of section 3(1) of the offences against the person act states “that every person. Who falls within section 3 (1a) shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life or to death”….the provisions under section 3 (1a) include persons who are convicted for multiple murders which arise out of the same incident.”

When asked if he had anything to say, the 23 year old brought up his ill treatment while in custody. He says he’s being constantly threatened and beaten by officers and is seeking medical attention. He said to the presiding Judge “me nuh know if a di crime me commit, a bere chat dem a chat me…lick inna head back..dem a tell me how dem will lick me wid baton and dem something dere”.

As he was being transported out of the court, Barnett was met with animosity by citizens who jeered as he passed. Barnett is charged  for the murder of 31 year old Kimeisha Wright, Kimanda Smith who was 15 years old, 10 year old, Shara-Lee Smith, , Rafaella Smith who was 5, and Kishawn Henry, 23 months old.

It was explained that after Barnett inflicted wound on the 5 deceased he deposited the murder weapon and other items some distance away from the premises. The prosecution indicated that the knife and those items have been retrieved.

Reporter: Jhanielle Powell