JAMAICA | Church member charged with murder of ATL employee at Pathways Ministries

JAMAICA | Church member charged with murder of ATL employee at Pathways Ministries

MONTEGO BAY, October 26, 2021 - 37-year-old André Ruddock, a member of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in St James has been charged with murder, in connection with the death of Appliance Traders Limited employee Taneka Gardner.

Deceased leader of Pathways International, Kevin SmithDeceased leader of Pathways International, Kevin SmithRuddock was charged yesterday afternoon at the Major Investigations Task Force (MIT) division in Kingston with one count of murder and one count of wounding with intent. He was also a passenger in the convoy in which the pastor was killed.

He is accused of slashing the throat of Appliance Traders Limited employee Taneka Gardner and wounding another congregant two Sundays ago, in what has been characterized as  a bizarre ritual involving human sacrifice at the religious organisation's building in Albion, Montego Bay.

Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit, Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, said Ruddock was the other individual in yesterday's ill-fated convoy that was transporting the now-deceased leader of Pathways International Kevin Smith.  Both men were destined for a question-and-answer session in Kingstonand were scheduled to be arraigned in the Home Circuit Court this morning.

 Murdered Appliance Traders Limited employee Taneka Gardner Murdered Appliance Traders Limited employee Taneka Gardner Police reports say that at around 9:30 yesterday morning,  one of the vehicles transporting Smith and members of the JCF overturned on the Linstead bypass in St Catherine. Smith and Police Constable Orlando Irons of the Montego Bay Fugitive Apprehension Team were confirmed dead upon arrival at hospital while two other lawmen remain in hospital in serious condition.

Smith was to be questioned by detectives who intended to charge him with two counts of murder, two counts of wounding with intent, and one count of illegal possession of firearm.

His attorney Mrs. Neita-Roberston said prior to the pastor's removal from St. James, she was kept in the dark on his whereabouts and was not advised in relation to his transfer.

"Why didn't they take him before the parish court in the jurisdiction where the alleged offences were committed, and then there now, they could ask for the voluntary bill to send it to the circuit court in the parish? Why are they carrying him to Kingston,” she questioned.

Attorney at law, Mrs Valerie Neita Robertson Attorney at law, Mrs Valerie Neita Robertson Mrs Neita-Robertson, a Queen's Counsel explained that “Any application to move the jurisdiction, I have to participate in that. They have to inform me, you have to file an affidavit to say why you want it moved out of the parish of St. James”!

"Everything that is happening is very curious and certainly not what usually happens and the family is concerned about it, so I'm now acting for the estate," she added. 

Mrs. Neita-Robertson said Mr. Smith's family intends to hire an independent pathologist for the autopsy.

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