Oak­lands killer thought he could ‘get away with it’

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Livern Bar­rett Se­nior Gleaner Writer livern.bar­rett@glean­erjm.com

PERDIE NEW­MAN sat in the Home Cir­cuit Court yes­ter­day and watched as a judge handed her daugh­ter’s killer, busi­ness­man Steven Causwell, a life sen­tence.

Af­ter­wards, she un­loaded on the 40-yearold fa­ther of two daugh­ters, de­scrib­ing him as ar­ro­gant, while fum­ing at her long wait for jus­tice.

“He was so cocky in the be­gin­ning, he was sure that he was go­ing to get away with it,” News­man told re­porters out­side court.

Pre­sid­ing judge, Jus­tice Carol Lawrence-Beswick, di­rected that Causwell be sub­jected to psy­cho­log­i­cal and psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion in prison and that he must serve 20 years be­fore be­ing el­i­gi­ble for pa­role.

Dressed in a yel­low shirt and dark pants, Causwell showed no emo­tion as the sen­tence was an­nounced and was quickly hand­cuffed and led from the court­room.

For New­man, who was still seething eight years af­ter her daugh­ter, Na­dia Mitchell’s bru­tal death, that was not enough. “Life [with] 60 years be­fore [pa­role], which means that he would rot in jail; Congo worm tek him, and I’m not be­ing nice with my words. He de­serves every­thing that he gets,” she con­tin­ued.

“I am an­gry be­cause the stupid boy didn’t have to do it. All he had to do was walk away,” added New­man.


Mitchell’s teenage daugh­ter, Imani Pren­der­gast, was happy with the sen­tence, even as she of­fered words of sym­pa­thy for Causwell’s daugh­ters.

“It could have been more, but I’m happy that it’s life, so there is no run­ning away from that. He got what he de­served and he is pay­ing for what he has done,” she told The Gleaner.

“I have sym­pa­thy for his daugh­ter, Miya, be­cause we were friends ... . We grew up to­gether for a bit. There was no hate be­tween she and I, [so] I have sym­pa­thy for her be­cause she lost her fa­ther,” said Pren­der­gast.

Mitchell’s body was found in the court­yard at the gated Oak­lands apart­ment com­plex in St An­drew in July 2008. Ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors Paula Llewellyn and Yanique Gar­dener Brown, the body had 27 in­juries, 19 of which were in­flicted be­fore she died.

Lawrence-Beswick, in hand­ing down sen­tence, said she took into con­sid­er­a­tion the cir­cum­stances of the case.

“The jury was in­structed to con­sider the ev­i­dence and they have found you guilty. I must re­spect that ver­dict,” the judge noted.

“The vic­tim was a lady with a lov­ing fam­ily. They have been de­prived of her for­ever,” she added.

New­man and Mitchell’s sis­ter, Shana Forbes, had high praises for Llewellyn and Gar­dener Brown, even as they crit­i­cised the ju­di­cial process over the “botched” po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the long de­lay in start­ing the trial.

Forbes said her fam­ily’s ex­pe­ri­ence should serve as mo­ti­va­tion for other fam­i­lies that are less for­tu­nate. “For other less­for­tu­nate fam­i­lies out there fac­ing the same sit­u­a­tion, like the Mais fam­ily, I say, fight on,” she told re­porters. (She was re­fer­ring to the case of school­boy Kha­jeel Mais, who was shot and killed on July 1, 2011. The trial of Pa­trick Pow­ell is yet to start.)

“Stand up, dress up and show up for ev­ery court date. Mek dem know seh you poor, but you know you rights and you be­lieve in the worth of your child or your fam­ily mem­ber when they die,” said Forbes.

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