By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE bloody cutlass found next to Nellie Mae Brown-Cox’s naked and lifeless body with the inscriptions “this what cheaters get” and “you next George Sawyer” was shown in Supreme Court yesterday.
Detective Corporal Jermaine Stubbs, also showed the court the second cutlass found in the bedroom of the Bougainvillea Blvd, South Beach apartment, which was part of the crime scene.
This cutlass, according to the crime scene investigator, had the words, “Cheaters and Liars”, on both sides.
Prince Hepburn sat in the prisoner’s dock behind his lawyers, Murrio Ducille and Krysta Mason-Smith, as the detective gave his testimony.
It is claimed that on April 6 or 7, 2011, Hepburn caused the death of Nellie Mae Brown, the 42-year-old former president of the Bahamas Heart Association.
Hepburn and Brown-Cox were involved in an extramarital affair, though both had tried to divorce their spouses to be together.
Brown-Cox was found dead in the kitchen of an apartment on Bougainvillea Blvd, South Beach, with multiple stab wounds.
Hepburn, her partner at the time, was charged in connection with her death six days later when he was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court.
Since being formally arraigned in the Supreme Court, Hepburn has denied the murder charge.
In yesterday’s proceedings, prior to Cpl Stubbs being questioned by prosecutor Kendra Kelly about his involvement in the case in question, a client of Hepburn told the court that Hepburn confessed to killing Brown-Cox because she had broken his heart by cheating on him.
Anya James, who testified that she knew Hepburn and Brown-Cox from their interactions and travelling together, said she had called Hepburn’s phone on the morning in question concerning the family home the contractor was building for her and her husband.
“He was supposed to come by that day. I called to find out if he was on his way,” she said. However, she said, Hepburn did not answer his phone which she found odd.
She went to the soon-to-be family home and made another attempt to call Hepburn, which succeeded.
“Yea?” she said the person answered and added that “the voice didn’t sound the same” as the voice she was used to.
“And I said ‘Prince?’ and the person said ‘Yea?’ I asked what happened. ‘Why you sound like that?’” Mrs James said she asked.
“He said to me,” she began, appearing to find difficulty in saying the next words: “‘I kill Nellie. Nellie break my heart. Nellie was cheating on me.”
“I asked him ‘What?’” She said he repeated the statement.
“Prince you joking,” she said. “Where’s Nellie?” she then asked.
“Nellie’s dead,” he replied, adding that it happened the night before and he was waiting on the police.
Mrs James said she locked up the place and called an officer she knew and gave him the information before leaving for work.
“I was still in disbelief,” she said.
She said she spoke to Hepburn again days after the incident after receiving a call from an unknown number when he said: “I’m sorry.”
In cross-examination, Mr Ducille asked the witness if the business relations with Hepburn became more personal after travelling to the United States with him, Brown-Cox and her husband.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Normally he’s a cheerful person?” the lawyer asked, referring to his client.
“Yes,” the witness answered.
“Based on what you told us, he introduced Nellie as an inspector?” Mr Ducille asked.
“Yes,” said Mrs James.
“In as far as you know, he loved her very much?” the attorney asked.
“From what I saw, yes” Mrs James answered.
Mr Ducille noted Mrs James’ earlier reference to Nellie’s character when she was described as “worldly”, and suggested that she could get Hepburn to do anything she wanted.
“You recall saying that?” the attorney asked, referring her to her police statement. “Yes,” Mrs James answered.
“Prince never complained about having any problems with Nellie?” Mr Ducille asked. She said no.
“As a matter of fact, you’d see them sitting together on TV at Zion Baptist Church?” the lawyer asked.
“Yes,” Mrs James answered.
Mrs James was asked by the jury if she was sure that the person she spoke to that morning was the accused man.
“I am sure that it was Mr Hepburn,” she answered.
Mr Ducille suggested to her that she had made mistakes before in misidentifying people. She said she had before, but not in this instance.
Detective Stubbs testified in the afternoon session of court and said he received information on that day, and proceeded to the residence where he spoke with two policemen who gave him additional information.
He said upon entering the apartment, he saw the naked, lifeless body of a female with suspected blood over her body and a gold pillow hiding her privates.
He took note of the many injuries marring her body and a “silver sharp cutlass” at her foot.
He found another silver cutlass in the bedroom that also had suspected blood, along with opened bottles of Tylenol, and severed fingers under a clothes basket.
Stubbs said he began taking swabs of suspected blood from various parts of the crime scene.
Ms Kelly asked the officer about the cutlasses he had found.
Regarding the cutlass found at Brown-Cox’s feet, he said “one side of the cutlass had ‘You’re next George Sawyer, NX’ and the other side had ‘This what cheater’s get.’”
He claimed that the writing on the second cutlass found in the bedroom had “cheaters and liars” on both sides of the blade.
In cross-examination, Mr Ducille asked the policeman if he prepared a report about his involvement in the matter.
“Yes,” the officer answered.
“Did your report contain ‘this is what cheaters get?’” the attorney asked.
The officer said it did and he was asked to read over his report before the question was put to him again.
Mr Ducille asked the officer if the words said in the report about the cutlass reflected what he just said in court. The officer said “not for one of them.”
The trial resumes today before Justice Indra Charles.