Dantay Brooks, the son of dancehall artiste David “Mavado” Brooks, and his co-accused Andre Hinds were yesterday found guilty of the 2018 murder and arson of Lorenzo “Israel” Thomas.
Brooks and his co-accused Hinds were on trial in the Home Circuit Court before the Honourable Mr. Justice Leighton Pusey for Thomas’s murder, who was shot and killed on June 5, 2018.
The man’s body was burnt beyond recognition, and his father’s house was set alight at 4 Cassava Piece Road, St Andrew – the fire destroyed the home.
The trial commenced on January 11, 2021, and the duo was indicted with the offences of murder, illegal possession of a firearm, shooting with intent, and arson.
However, at the no-case submission, the court conceded that the count of shooting with intent had not been made out, and the trial proceeded on the other counts.
During the 12-day trial, the prosecution presented evidence from 14 witnesses. The prosecution led evidence based on the direct eyewitness testimony of Thomas’s father.
The court heard that the elder Thomas received word that his son would be killed and made arrangements for his son to stay elsewhere on the day before the incident.
And that he later had a brief altercation with the accused Brooks.
According to the elder Thomas, later that night, he visited his son to give him some money for food, and while returning home, he passed the accused men before entering his yard.
He went into his yard and later saw his son arrive at home. He added that he observed both accused men and other persons standing near his fence for a couple of hours, which he pointed out to his son.
Thomas further relayed that at about 3:30 am, he heard when the door to his son’s front bedroom was “kicked off,” heard gunshots, and saw his son falling to the ground while clutching his chest.
He later said that he saw the two accused men and two others in his son’s room and heard accused Hines ask if he (the father) should also be killed, but Brooks said, “No,[him] no fi dead.”
Thomas further told the court that he saw Brooks pass a cutlass to one of the persons in the room, who tried to sever his son’s head.