Brooklyn (dailymail.co.uk) – The stabbing death of a man whose naked body was found outside a Brooklyn apartment building was the result of a sordid love triangle that ended in two killings, not one — and the arrest of a suspect on Thursday.
Jerome Barrett, 35, of East New York, is believed to have been having sex with a co-worker in a parked car when the woman’s cuckolded husband interrupted them early Wednesday, police sources said.
The husband, Steve Whittingham, 48, stabbed Barrett several times in the chest and did the same to his wife, Jonelle Barker, 36, killing them both, police said as they announced Whittingham’s arrest Thursday night.
Barrett, who was married, was mortally wounded but managed to flee, clutching his clothing and wallet, the sources said. He made his way to the entrance of an apartment building on Louisiana Ave. near Seaview Ave. in Spring Creek Towers shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, the sources said.
He was ringing the buzzer at the main entrance, trying to summon help, when he was overcome, the sources said. His clothes and wallet were found a few feet from his body, just outside the building’s entrance.
A day later, about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, Barrett’s car, a Kia, was found parked on New Lots Ave. in Brownsville, the sources said.
Inside the trunk was Jonelle Barker’s body. She, too, was naked, the sources said.
Investigators believe Barrett and Barker, who were baggage handlers at JFK Airport, were having an affair and that Whittingham, who also worked there, killed them in a rage after learning about the infidelity and catching them, the sources said.
Jerome Barrett’s brother, Benjamin Barrett Jr., who lives in Virginia, was stunned when he heard his sibling had been slain.
“No! … You’re kidding, man!” he said, adding that their father had died of cancer just last week. “He was just coming back down here this weekend for the funeral.”
Whittingham surrendered to authorities hours before Barker’s body was discovered, the sources said.
He was charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder, which could get him life without parole if convicted.
Whittingham and Barker shared a home in Flatlands, police said. Outside their Avenue K home on Thursday night an elderly woman wept as neighbors tried to console her. Neighbours said the woman was Whittingham’s mother. She declined comment
A cousin said the entire family was stunned.
“This is a shock to all of us,” the cousin said. “He loved her so much.”
Neighbours had only good things to say about the dreadlocked Whittingham. They said that he works in a garage, is a family man and was just seen buying doughnuts for his kids.
Barker on Tuesday twice updated her Facebook cover photo, first with a picture lauding God as the best listener who hears our prayers, then with a picture of Betty Boop.
Barrett lived four miles from the Spring Creek Towers building where his body was found. Whittingham drove Barrett’s Kia from the scene after Barrett fled, the cop sources said. They did not reveal where the car had initially been parked, but they said investigators have recovered a surveillance video of the killings.
Barrett’s sister-in-law said neither she nor her husband knew Barrett was having an affair.
“He always seemed to be family-oriented,” Michelle Wilson-Barrett said. “He had a heart made of gold.
“It’s shocking to me,” she added. “I didn’t know that side of him.”
She also raged at Whittingham.
“He could have hit him in the head with a bat or just beat him up,” she said.
“I’m a firm believer of you reap what you sow. I think he should pay for this.”
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