Tearful man apologises after getting 14 years for killing 17-y-o babymother

AN Old Harbour man who in 2019 killed the 17-year-old mother of his child and buried her in his duck pen before going on the lam, yesterday tearfully apologised to her parents after he was sentenced to 14 years and four months behind bars at hard labour for manslaughter.

According to details shared during the trial which took place before the St Catherine Court, Jermaine Dawkins and the victim, Alicia Allen, were engaged in a tempestuous relationship with frequent fights and quarrels.

According to information shared in the court, Dawkins’ mother said the two constantly quarrelled and she told them to separate. She said Allen would leave the family home only to return.

Allen’s own father, who described the relationship as “rocky and violent”, also said the two would quarrel and fight often and that on more than one occasion his daughter would make reports to the police about the incidents.

According to Dawkins himself, things finally came to a head during a confrontation between him and Allen at his Patrick Street, Old Harbour, home on the night of September 7, 2019.

Dawkins, in a caution statement, said he and Allen were in a bedroom talking when she told him that she had “set up man to kill” him but that the man died three days prior.

He said upon hearing that he got upset. He then claimed that Allen pushed him in the chest and he pushed her back. He said she then grabbed a knife and started to “push off” his “face”. Dawkins said he grabbed the knife from her, grabbed her by the throat and squeezed.

According to Dawkins, he “never expect she fi dead”. He said she dug him in the eye and then he saw that she had stopped wrestling.

He said he became frightened and let go of her, at which point she fell to the ground breathing heavily. He said when he saw that she had stopped moving and he realised that her eyes had rolled over, he panicked. He said seeing the duck pen and hole he placed the body there and buried it.

However, according to a relative who became a prosecution witness, Dawkins, while moving the body from the room, had seen him and asked him to help with moving the body. The relative claimed he only saw the feet of the deceased and did not know who it was at the time but assisted him because he was afraid, as Dawkins had a gun in his hand. After burying the body, Dawkins fled the area.

Family members, after not seeing Allen for a while, began searching for her and ran into the relative who told them that “Jermaine buried a body into a hole over his yard and maybe it was Lisa [Allen’s pet name]”.

Her remains were found on September 13, 2019.

The autopsy revealed that the body had defects on the left side of the neck, left breast and right shoulder but no associated fatal injury to the underlying organs or blood vessels and no evidence of trauma such as gunshot wounds or blunt impact trauma. It, however, said other causes of death such as positional asphyxia, pressure on the neck and other asphyxiated types of death could not be ruled out. The cause of death was said to be “undetermined”.

Dawkins eluded cops for some nine months before he was collared by officers who were conducting an operation in June 2020 at Old Road, Kitson Town, St Catherine.

Yesterday, Senior Puisne Judge Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick, in handing down the sentence, using 12 years as a starting point, said Dawkins — based on the fact that he pleaded guilty and his age — qualified for a discount, taking it down to seven years. She however said the aggravating factors of how Allen died and how he buried the body left her with no choice but to bring the sentence back up to 15 years, minus the eight months he had already spent in custody, resulting in the final sentence of 14 years and four months.

A sobbing Dawkins apologised to Allen’s parents who were in court, telling them he was sorry, causing her mother to break down in tears.

Dawkins, during a question and answer with the police prior to his trial, said he was sorry and wished he could give the mother of his child life, “jus fi she live again”.

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