Friday, May 30 – Today, High Court Justice Madame Vicki Ann Ellis sentenced Jessroy McKelly to life in prison with a minimum of 40 years for the murder of Kareem Sebastian.
McKelly, 25, was convicted just over two months ago in the death of Sebastian, 26, who received several gunshot wounds to his upper body on the night of August 24, 2008 in the Crab Lot area. He subsequently died in 2009.
Officers of the RVIPF Major Crime Team, who led in gathering the evidence for the arrest and prosecution in this case, consider the success of this case largely due to the strength, integrity and reliability of Witness Protection Programme and the trust placed in the programme by the witnesses in this case.
The two main witnesses in the case came forward, were immediately placed in the Witness Protection Programme and received the needed protection from the RVIPF under the internationally approved guidelines of programme. When the case was brought before the court, they were both able to give their testimonies.
The victim’s mother Bridgette Todman says justice has been served and has only high praise for the RVIPF Major Crime Team and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“The team of officers that worked on this case did a good job. They found the person that murdered my son and then they gave the needed support to (Prosecutor Valston) Graham who presented a good case, Yes, justice was served,” Todman noted.
My son is in the grave and no one can really understand what I went through except another mother. But I trusted God and I thank him now that I got that closure. It is because someone came forward. My hope is many more within the community will come forward with information and say what they know so that other mothers may have the closure they need is their children’s deaths.
When the verdict was read, Head of the Crime Division Detective Superintendent Alexis Charles remarked that McKelly’s conviction is evidence that the RVIPF continues to pursue perpetrators in all the unsolved murders. “We continue to investigate all open murder cases, and, when we can, we will bring perpetrators to justice and see these cases to a successful end. We will not close any investigation that is not solved and will relentlessly pursue those who commit these offences,” he added.
In acknowledging families in this community who still await justice for lost loved ones taken in violence, Commissioner of Police David Morris assures that the pursuit continues in bringing about justice. “The files on these unsolved murders remain open and we will do everything to bring closure in these cases. That is why we continue to build on the skills of our detectives and crime investigators. Working closely with the Director of Public Prosecutions, we hope to bring many more offenders to justice,” he said.
Rewards of up to $100,000 for information on any of the unsolved murders and the Witness Protection Programme are available for anyone who will come forward with information. Police have secured a number of convictions recently where witnesses have come forward and are being protected under the Witness Protection.
People with information are asked to contact detectives from the Major Crime Team directly at 468-5682 or through the RVIPF access number 311. Persons can also call the Intelligence Unit at 468-9339.
The Crimestoppers in Miami also provides persons wishing to give information anonymously an opportunity to do so. Call 800-TIPS, 800-8477.