The Cocoa Piece incident in Clarendon which occurred in late June caused islandwide public outrage when 23-year-old Rushane Barnett was accused of massacring Kimesha Wright and her four children Rafaella Smith, Kimanda Smith, Shara-Lee Smith, and Kishawn Henry.
The eldest of the four children was 15 years and the youngest is less than a year old.
Barnett entered a guilty plea at the Home Circuit Court on Thursday, July 28, in which he explained to the presiding judge, Justice Leighton Pusey that he entered off his own free will. According to Nationwide Radio Barnett allegedly told his brother about what he planned to do. Barnett’s cousin, who is also a witness, stated that he was with him on the eve of the murders. He said that he saw Barnett with a knife who then stated that he warned his brother that he was going to “kill some people tonight” so he should watch out.
Andrea Martin Swaby, the Lead Prosecutor in the trial, divulged some rather horrifying facets of Barnett’s caution statement. Barnett disclosed that two men showed up at Wright’s home and he served them what they ordered only to have Wright grab the money he received from the customers, flash water in his face, and tell him not to serve her customers. He said that all of this took place in front of said customers and he felt disrespected by her actions. After the incident he said that their relationship changed.
Close to midnight on Monday, June 20, Barnett stated that he was at the Cocoa Piece home when his cousin told him to lock up the house. He told her that he heard the sound of a vehicle outside and she went to the window to look only to find nothing. The two exchanged looks and based on what Wright saw, Barnett said she suddenly tried to get something from the dresser. He said that he did not see what the item was, but “preed in the heavens” that it was either a pair of scissors or a knife.
Barnett’s statement revealed that he had his knife and he used it to stab her multiple times. When this happened, the children started throwing objects unknown to him from the dresser in his direction and he stabbed them too. The eldest child, Kimanda Smith (15) grabbed scissors so he went after her, she fell and he stabbed her repeatedly as well. Barnett unveiled that he ran to dispose of shorts and the weapon used after everyone in the house was dead.
The post-mortem results revealed in court stated that 31-year-old Wright succumbed to 48 incised wounds to her limbs, abdomen, chest, and neck area. Kimanda Smith received four stab wounds and nine incised wounds while Sharalee Smith received two scratches, a cut-throat neck wound, and 22 incised wounds. Rafaella Smith died from a gaping neck wound and five incised wounds. The Youngest, 23-month-old Kishawn Henry was reported to have eleven incised wounds, one of which was a cut-throat neck wound.
The prosecution plans to arrange victim impact statements from the family members. The next court date will be on September 22, 2022. Barnett’s attorney, Tamika Harris, says that even though his psychiatric evaluation ruled him competent enough to plea, she plans to have further talks with the Psychiatrist about his mental health.