The trial of a 25-year-old woman who is accused of killing her two children, ages one and four, by instructing them to ingest a substance used to kill rats, commenced yesterday before Justice Navindra Singh and a 12-member mixed jury at the High Court in Georgetown.
On trial is Hofosawa Awena Rutherford, formerly of Supply Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara. She has been indicted on two counts of manslaughter, whereby it is alleged that on March 27, 2014 at Lot 10 Supply, Mahaicony, she unlawfully killed her son – 16 month-old Jabarie Ajoya Cadogan – and her four year-old daughter Odaceia Juliana Cadogan.
Representing the accused is Attorney-at-Law Adrian Thompson, while Prosecutors Tiffini Lyken, Abigail Gibbs and Shawnette Austin are appearing for the State.
The State is contending that on the day in question, Rutherford killed her children by giving them a poisonous substance to ingest. Jabarie Cadogan died while receiving treatment at the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital.
His sister later succumbed at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The first witness testifying for the prosecution was Monica Sealey, the sister of Rutherford.
Sealey recalled that during March 2014, she resided with her sister and her two children at the above mentioned address. According to the witness, on March 27, 2014, her sister left home around 08:00hrs with the children after telling her that she was going to Georgetown to conduct “some business.”
Sealey told the court that her sister returned home at around 19:00hrs with the children and went into the bedroom to change her clothes. The witness said, “She guh down stairs and take a bath. I get up and start making dinner. She called for Odaceia and Jabarie to come and drink tablet.”
While in the kitchen making dinner, Sealey said that she overheard her niece coughing and saw the little girl vomiting. She said that before her sister called out to her for a glass of water, she overheard the woman telling her daughter, “Why is it you can’t drink something when I give you. And your brother done drink it already.”
Sealey said that her sister gave the little girl some of the water to drink.
Sealey, who cried intermittently during her testimony, related that sometime after her son, a three year-old at the time, came and told her that Jabarie was vomiting in the chair. Sealey said that she had inquired from her sister about what was happening to the children, and she told her that she had given them tablets for cold.
The children, Sealey disclosed, were taken to the Mahaicony Cottage hospital, by herself and her husband. She said that Rutherford also accompanied them. She said that from all indications, neither Jabarie nor his sister was suffering with a cold.
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