The trial which involves 33 members of the feared Klansman Gang from St. Catherine is well on the way and on each court day, more shocking testimonies are being reported. A former gang member who is now a state witness gave some telling information yesterday in the Home Circuit Court, Downtown Kingston.
According to the former Klansman, who is testifying from a private location, accused Joseph McDermott requested that the body of a victim be dug up because he wanted to retrieve the skull. The witness went on to detail that McDermott was the person who guards the back entry of the gang’s base which is located on Jones Avenue in Spanish Town. He was known to patrol at night, making sure that their enemies don’t get to enter the premises.
“Nobody was to enter, anybody he sees who he don’t know, he shoot to kill,” the witness said.
With regards to the skull, the witness overheard Joseph McDermott telling another member of the gang that he wanted them to go and dig up the remains of a man who they killed. The witness says that he asked why the body was wanted and Joseph McDermott replied saying that he wanted to drink the blood from the skull.
The state witness also recalls the hijacking of a taxi in Lauriston to go on a mission, however, the driver attacked them with a knife after which he was shot in the head. He went on to testify that he stood as a guard while a man was being buried after members of the gang stabbed the victim to death.
While testifying yesterday, the witness stated that “Blackman” Bryan displayed the gun to him that was used in the assassination of former Jamaica Urban Transit Company Chairman, Douglas Chambers, according to the witness, “he put two big hole in his head”. The chairman was reportedly killed because he was stopping the gang from “eating food”.
Douglas Chambers was shot and killed in Spanish Town, St Catherine back in 2008. In December of 2019, Tesha Miller the other strongman in the Klansman gang was convicted for planning the murder of Chambers.
The witness outlined that Bryan had lists of people who were to be killed by the gang, he claimed that Blackman had two death lists with names and in one meeting Bryan complained that “three man left pon one of di list and he need them to come off so he can move to the next list”.
Blackman also reportedly questioned about the crime rates in several other parishes including Clarendon and St. James because he was concerned about those parishes having a higher crime rate than St. Catherine. Blackman wanted his parish to be on top with regards to murders, “He would say Spanish Town is the head of the badness, so MoBay and Clarendon can’t beat Spanish Town.”
Strategies were implemented by the leaders to boost the rate of shootings and killings done by the gang, the witness said.
The witness, who has been on the stand since last Wednesday, also named 21 persons, including himself, whom he said were leaders in the gang.
The witness also outlines that the gang had strong ties with members of the People’s National Party(PNP), “Wi go a lot of PNP meetings together; wi go to Stadium (National Arena), wi go to the member of parliament office, Mandeville, Bog Walk, Portmore, a lot of places,” the witness said.
He further claimed that the gang also took weapons to PNP meetings, however, females usually carried the weapons.
The trial which started in September of this year is labelled as one of the biggest in Jamaica’s history and is expected to run into 2022, costing the island at least 50 million dollars.
Reputed One Don Gang leader Andre Bryan of the Klansman gang and 32 other alleged gang members are being tried on an indictment with 25 counts under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Act and the Firearms Act, to which they have pleaded not guilty