By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 14-year-old boy yesterday testified how a car full of girls nearly ran him over in their haste to ultimately stab and beat to death teenage mother Breanna Mackey over an $80 cell phone last year.
The teenager, an eighth grade student at D W Davis Junior High School, said he barely missed being hit while riding his bicycle as the car went “full speed” after the 19-year-old Mackey in January 2018.Moments later, he said, he witnessed from about 12 feet away how one of the girls, Thea Williams, stabbed Mackey in her shoulder, back and rear end.
Three other unidentified girls picked up rocks and bottles from off the ground and used those objects to beat and pummel the deceased, the boy said.
However, he was not able to say if the two girls on trial for Mackey’s murder, Dervinique Edwards and Zaria Burrows, were involved in the actual attack. The only thing he could say was that the driver, who never left the vehicle, looked “tomboyish”.
The teenager’s testimony came during Edwards’ and Burrows’ trial before Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson over allegations they murdered Mackey on January 25, 2018.
According to reports from police, shortly before 6pm on the date in question, police control room was contacted about reports that a female had been stabbed about the body in the Key West Street area off Cordeaux Avenue. Police officers were dispatched to investigate.
Upon their arrival, a woman, identified as the victim’s sister, Latisha Woodside, directed officers to a brown and white apartment complex on the eastern side of Key West Street. On the porch, just in front of door number nine, officers discovered Mackey, semi-conscious, lying face down and suffering from four stab wounds to her upper back and two stab wounds to her right arm.
Mackey, who had turned 19 the day before, was taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital where she died around 8.28pm.
Taking the witness stand yesterday, the boy said that at around 5pm on the date in question, he left his home on Key West Street to play basketball at his friend’s house on the same street. After having done so, and while headed back home on his bicycle, he heard his friend call out to him. At the same time, he said, he heard the sound of a car rapidly approaching. The boy said when he turned around, he noticed that a Honda sedan was chasing Mackey, whom he referred to as his friend “Brea”.
He said the car whizzed past him and almost hit him, then came to a sudden stop in front of an apartment complex. The boy said the car was strategically parked across a path vehicles use to gain access to that property. It was “one way in, one way out”, he said.
By that time, Mackey had already run inside the yard to evade her pursuers. The boy said he watched as, while running, Mackey slipped and fell by the first apartment door. He said the ground was wet, and Mackey appeared to be wearing “slippery” shoes. At the same time she fell, the car had just come to a sudden halt.
The boy said Mackey managed to get back on her feet and tried to run again, but slipped a second time. But by that time it was too late; the group of girls, who had got out of the vehicle, had already set upon her.
The boy said one of the girls was Thea Williams, whom he knew from her having previously participated in the Urban Renewal programme with him. He said she would “bother” him playfully from time to time. He said she was the first one to make it to Mackey. He said Williams took a knife that had a black handle out of her bag and started stabbing Mackey about the body.
The other girls joined in shortly afterwards, using rocks and bottles to attack the deceased. Only Williams had a knife, the boy said.
After the girls were done with the attack, the boy said Williams told the others to “let’s go”. However, he said, the girls “didn’t want to listen”, so Williams said “let’s go” a second time. Afterwards, he said, the group of girls got back into the car, which sped off.
As for the driver of the vehicle, the boy said he had never seen her before, but that she looked “tomboyish”. He also said that he would not be able to recognise that girl if he saw her again. Nonetheless, he said that at no point did the driver get out of the vehicle, nor did she have a rock, bottle or knife in her hands.
Meanwhile, Constable Trevor Pinder, an officer attached to the Flying Squad of the Central Detective Unit (CDU), said sometime around 9.30pm on the date in question, and acting on information, he went to #45 Watlins Street and arrested Burrows in reference to a murder investigation. While placing handcuffs on her, P/C Pinder said she told him: “Officer, it was Thea who jook (stabbed) the girl. I only went there to take her for some money, that’s all.”
The case resumes on November 5. Burrows and Edwards remain on bail until that time.
Dervard Francis represents Burrows, while Eleanor Albury represents Edwards. Cassie Bethel and Jacqueline Forbes represent the Crown.