COPS in Jamaica have charged a 38-year-old man with the murder of his brother who was shot and killed while visiting from the UK.
Lemone Brown, a carpenter from Manchester, is accused of shooting dead 48-year-old Michael Brown while the pair were on the Caribbean island for their mother’s funeral.
According to police, the Brown brothers, who were in the process of planning their mother’s funeral, have been involved in a dispute over land since 2015.
Commander of the Manchester Police, Superintendent Shane McCalla, said that police and members of the community had been trying to resolve the dispute peacefully.
“It is really sad, what occurred, and what is even sadder is that the persons, even the deceased, would have been at the Mandeville Police Station where members of the community safety and security arm and the restorative justice would have tried to get the parties to come to some form of agreement in their disputes over the properties.” McCalla said.
According to police reports, Brown – who went by the street name ‘Jimmy’ – was killed at approximately 12.20am last Thursday in an unfinished house he was building in the community just four days after burying his 74-year-old mother.
The 48-year-old sustained gunshot wounds to his upper body. He was rushed to the Mandeville Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A police report said that Brown was set upon by gunmen who opened fire on him as he entered the house he was building in the Caribbean isle.
Citing ‘community sources’, Jamaican radio station Nationwide 90FM said Brown had been involved in a ‘bitter’ family feud over several properties his recently deceased mother had left to him in her will in the island nation.
The station reported the dispute escalated on Wednesday between Brown and his relatives, and a heated argument took place.
Police immediately opened an investigation into the shooting and are collecting statements.
With the parish where Brown was killed recording a total of five murders since the start of the year, McCalla said a number of those have been dispute related.
“What we want people to do is to try to find more amicable means to resolve conflicts. A number of the murders recorded in the parish are coming out of disputes and an inability to properly manage conflict and resolve disputes,” he said.
A local resident said that there are lots of land and property disputes in Jamaica which sometimes end tragically.
She said: “This young man came over from England to bury his mother and to take care of the house he was building and he will be getting buried himself. That is so awful and sad.
“Coming all this way and you will not be returning. This can’t be easy.”
Brown is the second Brit to be shot dead in Jamaica this year after Sean Patterson, 33, a personal trainer from Shepherd’s Bush, West London, was found with gunshot wounds to his upper body and head in St James, earlier in January.
Speaking at the time, Jamaica Constabulary’s deputy commissioner Fitz Bailey called it a contract killing that emanated from Britain.
In a video statement, Bailey went on to say Patterson had arrived in Jamaica on 29 December with another man who was also from London.
The pair had spent several days at an apartment before checking into the villa in Bogue Hill on New Year’s Day.
Later that day, Mr. Patterson, and the man staying with him, met a third person from Kingston, and all three of them stayed at the guest house in separate rooms.
It was around noon the following day that Mr. Patterson and the Jamaican man went to the villa’s pool deck, and a ‘lone man dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt’ was seen firing shots, Mr. Bailey said.
A police spokesman confirmed that a man has been arrested and charged with his brother’s murder and will be appearing in court shortly.