Accused man denies killing or jealousy

| 13/08/2013

(CNS): The 22-year-old George Town man accused of killing Jackson Rainford stood before the jury and the courtroom Monday and denied the allegation that he was the gunman that shot the 23-year-old victim last December or being at the crime scene. Tareek Ricketts remained composed as he took the stand and denied both the murder and having any motive to kill the deceased, as he believed his ex-lover and Rainford were just friends. Speaking in his own defence, Ricketts told the court that he had no previous convictions and was employed as a computer technician at a local law firm since he had attended college and before he was arrested.

The local man said both his mother and stepfather were police officers and he was the breadwinner for his two children with his former girlfriend, Tarina Tomlinson.

One crown witness has alleged that Ricketts was close to Tomlinson’s residence on the night of the shooting just before she arrived with both Jackson Rainford and his brother, Che. Dale Vernon testified that he was with him outside of the church near Tomlinson's residence. In his evidence, he said Ricketts had become upset after watching a white Honda civic arrive with the Rainford brothers, Tomlinson and his two young children at such a late hour before he approached the vehicle.

However, Ricketts' denies these allegations and gave the jury an account of hiswhereabouts the night that Rainford was shot three times as he sat in the car. He told the jury and presiding judge, Justice Alex Henderson, that he had been waiting for Tomlinson to return to her house with their children and had tried contacting her multiple times. He explained that he had taken multiple routes in the George Town area, including stopping to fix his car, which had broken down.

Ricketts said that it was not until the later hours of the night that he and his girlfriend had received the information that her estranged husband had been murdered in the passenger seat of his brother's car.

The defendant said that shortly afterwards his mother had called and explained that she had been asked to inform her son that he was a suspect in the crime, which the crown claims was motivated by jealousy and the interconnection of relationships between Ricketts and Rainford, who had essentially swapped partners.

Ricketts denied these claims and instead submitted that he would have been happy for Tomlinson to find a partner so that she would not need to call or stress him out about the children, which would result in less stress for him.

He admitted that later in the evening in question, he had called Tomlinson to find out what had taken place around her house. Ricketts told the court that he had been driving around George Town that night without any fear, and had even passed through the road blocks set up around what he later learned was the crime scene. Ricketts explained that as a result of seeing the commotion in the area of Tomlinson’s home when he was passing, he had called her to find out what was going on and to check on the children, but she had said nothing about a shooting or murder.

The defendant, who has no previous convictions, described how he voluntarily went to the police station when he heard the police wanted to question him. He gave a short statement denying the killing and was swabbed for gunshot residue just a few hours after the shooting, but the test was negative.

Completing his evidence in chief Monday afternoon, Ricketts will face cross examination from the crown Tuesday as the case continues in Court One.

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Category: Crime

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