JAMAICA | Court remands accused Pathway killer; congregants fined; Smith charged posthumously

JAMAICA | Court remands accused Pathway killer; congregants fined; Smith charged posthumously

KINGSTON,  Jamaica, October 28, 2021 - After pleading guilty, the 39 members of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries who were charged under the Disaster Risk Management Act last week, were each fined $30,000 when they appeared in the St. James Parish Court on Wednesday. They were charged for being out on a no-movement day.

The Pathways International congregants were held after the police were alerted as to possible unlawful activities at the organisation's premises in Montego Bay on Sunday, October 17.

In the meantime, Andre Ruddock, who has been accused of killing Taneka Gardener at Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in St. James, was remanded when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Ruddock, who did not have an attorney, was assigned legal aid, He is scheduled to return to court next Wednesday November 3.

Kevin Smith died on Monday in a car crash while being transported from Montego Bay to Kingston Kevin Smith died on Monday in a car crash while being transported from Montego Bay to Kingston Yesterday also, two days after he died in a car crash,  the leader of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, Kevin Smith, was posthumously charged with two counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, wounding with intent and shooting with intent.

The murder charges are in relation to the vicious killings of 39-year-old Taneka Gardner and 38-year-old Michael Scottsdale Brown, both of St James.

According to a Jamaica Observer report, a congregant who apparently claimed knowledge of what was taking place at the church, said Brown was first in line to be killed. He had allegedly discharged himself from The Cornwall Regional Hospital where he was being treated for kidney disease.

According to the report, Brown, who felt he could be cured by the pastor, knelt at Smith’s feet and allegedly confessed his belief in him. “this was when Smith allegedly  pulled the catheters from Brown's frail body., claiming 'You will have to die and I will bring you back to life.' And he just started to pull the Band-Aids off him and pulled the thing out of his neck. When he pulled it off, there was blood shooting out of his body like it was a river running,” the man recounted.

He said that during the whole ordeal, Smith kept promising his followers that he would resurrect Brown.

 Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn told the media that she will be moving to fast-track the case involving Mr. Ruddock "because some matters in respect of the availability of the witnesses do better when it comes to trial much earlier".

She explained that by circumventing the committal process in the parish court, "about a year" would be shaved off the trial.  

"I have exercised my constitutional powers in this matter...and this was done in the interest of justice, which really embraces fairness for the accused, fairness for the victims and the witnesses and, of course, for the community," she said.  

Mr. Ruddock was charged with murder on Monday and was a part of the convoy transporting Smith to Kingston when the fatal accident occurred.

Taneka Gardner, 39, and an unidentified man were found dead at the church in Albion Meadows, Montego Bay on October 18. 

Their throats were slashed. 

 

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