The man accused of slaughtering 6 people in St. Thomas in 2006, Michael McLean broke down in tears yesterday during day two of his murder trial.
The tall black man who was clad in a grey suit with a burgundy handkerchief, groomed locks and red shoes got emotional during his former fiance’s testimony in the Home Circuit Court in downtown, Kingston. She’s the fourth witness for the Crown.
The accused man stood in the dock pulling for his handkerchief to wipe tears as his former fiancé gave evidence on what transpired during the final 24-hours before he was arrested by the police.
The woman wept as she testified how McLean appeared when he picked her and their baby up Sunday morning about 5:00. She described the accused as being dirty, with mud all over his elbows and sneakers. The woman said McLean’s braided hair was also unusually messy. She also gave evidence that McLean’s Range Rover was also dirty with shrubs hanging on the outside of the passenger seat and two grocery bags in the back.
McLean stood in the dock with his head down crying as the woman he proposed to in 2003 gave a detailed testimony of her best memory of the Sunday morning in question, hours before the discovery of several bodies in St. Thomas.
According to the witness, she asked McLean why the vehicle was so dirty but he told her he’d explain later.
The court then heard that McLean, the witness and their 2-year-old daughter proceeded to a hotel that day where she shared that she washed the clothes he was wearing.
The witness also said that she shampooed his hair. That Sunday, February 26, the bodies of five of the six victims were found in St. Thomas.
The court also heard that in the afternoon, several calls came in to McLean’s phone about the gruesome discoveries. His former fiance said McLean seemed nervous and shocked when he heard about the killings. She told the court that she asked McLean if he was implicated in the murders.
The witness said the accused responded by telling her that because he knew the victims perhaps persons thought he was also killed. The witness says although McLean got several calls that day, at no point did he call anyone to tell them he was okay. The woman testified that she continued probing asking what was going on. She says McLean then told her the police were in search of him.
The witness said she told the accused if he had nothing to hide he should turn himself in—this he agreed to do.
McLean, who is now representing himself, cross-examined his ex-fiance asking her if he didn’t explain why his vehicle was dirty.
The witness responded that McLean mentioned that he was coming from a farm reaping carrots. She says she believed him because he also sold produce.
The accused then asked the witness if while washing his clothes she saw blood stains. She answered no but said the water was dirty.
In re-examination of the witness, lead prosecutor, Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Paula Llewellyn said the accused suggested that he was in St. Mary getting produce such as carrots.
When DPP Llewellyn asked the witness if she saw any produce in the back of McLean’s vehicle, she said no.
The Crown’s third witness – a former cook at McLean’s restaurant – testified that he did not see the accused stop at his girlfriend Terryann Mohammed’s home Saturday night.
The prosecution is leading evidence that Terryann and her daughter Jhiad were last seen in the company of McLean on Saturday, February 25, 2006 at about 11:15 in the night.
The former cook says on the night of February 25, McLean came to his bar and restaurant where he and Terryann otherwise called Teeny were. He gave evidence that once McLean closed the establishment for the night, he drove him home with Terryann in the front and a sleeping Jhiad in the back seat with him. He says Terryann had two grocery bags with her in the front seat.
The witness says where McLean dropped him off is three to five minutes up the road from Terryann’s home. According to the witness, the house can be seen from where he came off. The former employee says that night McLean did not stop at Terryann’s gate in Duhaney Pen but proceeded in the direction of Morant Bay.
In McLean’s cross-examination, he asked his former employee if it was raining on the night in question which would make it hard to see down the street— the witness responded that it wasn’t raining. McLean asserted it was raining.
McLean further questioned the witness on whether he had tools such as a shovel or knife in his vehicle– the witness answered no.
McLean again said the tools, including a shovel and machete, are what he generally uses to clean the drain at his business establishment when it rains so as to prevent flooding.
In re-examination, lead Prosecutor, DPP Paula Llewellyn mentioned that the witness stated he hadn’t seen any knife or tools in McLean’s vehicle on February 25. But she asked him if he had looked in the trunk, the witness said no.
The DPP also asked the witness if it was raining that day or if the drains were flooded. The witness said no. Five witnesses have so far testified. Another seven are expected to take the witness box. The accused, who is now representing himself, is being guided by attorney Carlton Collman.
McLean indicated yesterday that he no longer wanted Mr. Collman to represent him.
Collman who expressed a desire to withdraw following this revelation was not granted his request. He was instead told by the Presiding Judge, Justice Bertram Morrison, that he’ll be guiding the accused throughout the trial.