Alleged pastor Stephanie Christie was found guilty of being a member of the infamous Klansman gang in the Kingston Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Christie, also known as “Mumma,” was the only female defendant that was tried in the highly publicised gang trial and was accused of being a high-ranking member of the criminal syndicate. According to reports from the Jamaica Observer, a former gang member who later testified as a state witness alleged that Christie served as the liaison between the gang and the police.
The witness, known as Witness Number Two, said that she was the one who arranged for legal counsel whenever a gang member was in violation of the law. Christie reportedly used extortion money to pay for legal expenses.
However, the accused painted a very different picture of herself in an unsworn statement, describing herself as a “businesswoman.” According to Christie, she cared for the elderly, ensured the young went to school, and organised community events, one of which received sponsorship from numerous well-known businesses due to its popularity.
Recorded conversations in which Christie spoke with Witness Number Two and described how a corrupt officer had given her information were admitted into evidence during the trial. On Wednesday, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes said these recordings were consistent with the evidence of a police witness who said Christie tried to bribe him.
According to Sykes, the evidence in the case showed “cumulatively her role and function within the criminal organisation.”
The accused maintained her innocence and denied being a Klansman member. Christie told the court that she knew gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan because they grew up in the same community and attended the same high school.
Christie said that she only knew six members of the gang and denied knowing Witness Number One, who testified that she was a member of the Klansman gang. Christie argued that if she indeed was a high-ranking member, she would have known more of the members.