By Latrishka Thomas
“I want to know why, why, why… Please tell me, tell me, tell me why?” the distressed mother of murder victim Keon Carr cried out in an unsolicited appeal to her son’s killer.
A teary-eyed and overwhelmed Brenda Furlong was speaking to Akeem Henry, the man who admitted to murdering her son a few months ago.
Furlong was merely called to the stand to inform the court of how the death of her son has impacted her, but she could not leave the stand without saying a few words to the accused.
After begging for an answer as to why Henry killed her son, Furlong insisted on saying a few words to the accused.
She turned to the young man and said: “I have no choice but to let Akeem know I love you. I love you, Akeem. I forgive you. I present you to Jehovah. I present him to you today.”
Henry, 28, made his first appearance in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court in late April 2020, after he was charged with the murder of Carr who was a resident of Christian Street, Gray’s Farm.
Carr, 34, was shot several times on December 27 2019 just moments after he visited his mother’s Christian Street home.
He was pronounced dead shortly after he was transported to hospital that night.
Yesterday, the court was given more details on what happened that tragic evening.
According to the facts presented by the prosecution, on December 26, 2019, Henry went to the home of a friend, and during their conversation Henry told him that he intends to “knock down Keon” because he took his weed and doesn’t want to pay.
Henry also showed his friend a gun and a magazine with five rounds, and his friend tried to convince him to rethink his decision.
The following day, sometime after 7 pm, a number of men were sitting outside a bar on Christian Street in Gray’s Farm, and Carr later joined them.
Not long after, the defendant went up to the men and shot Carr four times in his
neck, back, right forearm and chest.
A post mortem revealed that the bullet to his back penetrated the lung and traveled internally, causing damage to his liver.
The police were able to retrieve surveillance footage from a building close to the bar that showed the defendant in the area purchasing something to eat at around 7:24 pm.
Four minutes later he was seen standing at the side of a building with his body almost fully hidden, looking in the direction of the bar.
At 7:34 pm, Carr emerged from a nearby yard, arriving at the bar within seconds.
It was about seven minutes later that Henry began walking towards the bar, and he was seen running away two minutes later.
Four days after the shooting, the defendant again went to the home of his friend and admitted to killing Carr.
He asked the friend to hold on to the gun, but the friend said no, that he will think about it.
His friend told the police what he knew in February 2020, but when arrested and questioned, Henry denied committing the serious crime, but he shared that both he and the deceased sold weed for the same individual.
Subsequently, after he was told by an officer to come clean because there is evidence against him, Henry confessed and took the officers to Perry Bay to show them where in the ocean he’d thrown the murder weapon.
Henry in his statement said that Carr had looked at him and smiled, so he “did what he had to do.”
When probed for details on why he did it, the young man maintained that Carr was watching him for 5 to 10 minutes and had smiled at him, and he interpreted that to mean that he would have done something to him.
After hearing the facts, Henry was asked if he had anything to say in relation to the information shared.
He said that everything his friend had said was a lie.
The Judge still proceeded to listen to the defendant’s lawyer Wendel Robinson’s mitigation.
Robinson said that his client is remorseful, is of good character, and had had to endure twenty-three hours a day in a cell during the height of Covid-19.
It was after that that the victim’s mother, a prison officer, was called to the stand.
She revealed that she relocated from Christian Street because the bullet-riddled body of her son, whom she would do anything for, had been on the ground near the gate of their home.
She went on to add that since the incident, she has been suffering nightmares, severe headaches, and high blood pressure; she is sometimes afraid to sleep.
“From that night, from the first bullet I heard, it keeps ringing in my head all the time…I’m seeing him still like it just happened. It’s not going away,” she wailed.
Furlong also indicated that the incident is affecting her financially, because she has had to assist with the upkeep of Carr’s three children.
The case was adjourned until May 20, when Henry’s friend will give a brief account of his interaction with the convicted murderer around the time of the incident.