Cops: Brothers lost to crime
By Nalinee Seelal Tuesday, June 3 2014
A mother trying desperately to save her sons from being sucked into a life of crime, and failed police efforts to help the young boys turn their lives around.
This is part of the profile of the latest killings that rocked the Morvant community on the week- end with the murders of nine-year-old Jadel Holder and his 15-year-old brother, Jamal Brathwaithe, both of Petunia Avenue.
Two gunmen stormed their home on Sunday afternoon and shot the two boys several times in the head and about the body, debunking the initial reports that they were placed to lie on the floor and then shot execution style at the back of the head. Autopsies carried out at the Forensic Science Centre, St James revealed the nine-year-old was shot twice, once in the chest and another in the right side of the buttocks while his 15-year-old brother was shot six times in the chest and head. The autopsies were carried out by Dr Eastlyn McDonald-Burris.
As family and residents of Petunia Avenue sought to come to terms with the murderous episode yesterday, persons who knew the boys and their mother, Michelle Holder, including one police officer recounted that for several years, the single parent sought the intervention of the Morvant police to counsel her two sons away from a life of crime.
However her efforts were fruitless as the boys refused to heed her constant warnings that one day they will become murder statistics. Some were accordingly not surprised over the boys’ fate on Sunday. The mother’s worst fears were realised when gunmen stormed her home shortly after 2 pm and shot both Jadel and Jamal dead. She was spared harm by the gunmen, but a third person identified as Glendel Alexander was also shot but survived.
Yesterday, Sgt Cornelius Samuel of the North Eastern Division told Newsday he remembered Holder bringing the two boys to the station seeking the intervention of the police to counsel them because she feared for their future.
The police he said did their best to speak with the boys and advised them accordingly, but despite their best efforts the boys opted to do things their own way. This included action that led to Jamal’s name being called in some serious offences although the police did not have the evidence to hold him.
Newsday understands Jamal moved out of his mother’s Morvant home a few months ago and teamed up, allegedly as a shooter, with a Muslim gang who had been warring with a rival “Rasta” gang in Laventille. He returned to Morvant to stay with his mother only a few days ago. Jadel, the nine-year-old, was said to be encouraged to be wayward by his elder brother who went as far as using him to climb through windows and enter persons’ home to remove valuables.
According to the senior officer the nine-year-old was questioned several times about being a suspect in several house break-ins and robberies. Although he denied any involvement, he spoke brazenly about not being afraid of the police or anyone.
“That boy spoke like a person three times his age,” the police officer told Newsday, “And if you did not know that he was nine years old you would swear that he had the experience of a mature person.”
Other police sources revealed to Newsday that Jamal began his life of crime breaking into homes and business places and robbing persons. In addition to being involved in petty robberies, the younger brother started accompanying his elder sibling to carry out shootings. Police have also concluded that the persons who killed the brothers knew them and where to find them.
“We believe that they interfered with the wrong person and the person ordered that they be executed,” said a police source yesterday. Police were also expressing confidence over imminent arrests in connection with the murders.
Petunia Avenue residents yesterday commended the boys’ mother for at least trying to save them but because of the influence of gangsters and the lure of making quick money from illicit activities she could not sway them.