ON EVE OF SENTENCING, WILD RUMOURS CIRCULATE THAT 'ZEKES' HANGED SELF IN CELL
On the eve of his sentencing in the Home Circuit Court on Thursday, a wild rumour raced around the Corporate Area that Matthews Lane don Donald 'Zekes' Phipps had hanged himself in his cell at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.
Phipps, who was convicted of two counts of murder in a sensational trial that ended last week, had reportedly been having a 'torrid incarceration', and there have been numerous reports, some of which have been confirmed by prison officials, that he is being abused by other prisoners, especially other high-profile dons such as himself.
It was this systematic abuse at the hands of other prisoners -- some of whom are reportedly incensed by the allegations that were revealed during the trial that 'Zekes' forced a man to perform a homosexual act on him before he killed him -- that compelled prison officials to transfer him from the Horizon Remand Centre, sparking the rumours that he had hanged himself.
Earlier today (April 19, 2006), dozens of curious people converged on the Kingston Public Hospital hoping to catch a glimpse of 'Zekes' body but left after they found that the rumours were untrue.
"Nuff people converge pon the hospital a few hours ago, but dem left afta dem see nutten nuh go so," a ward assistant told YardFlex.Com last night.
Checks with officials at Horizon confirmed that 'Zekes' had been moved 'for his own protection'.
In the meantime, Phipps, 48, will find out his punishment today (April 20, 2006). Some legal experts theorise that he could face the death penalty, even though he has been convicted of non-capital murder because the law allows a person convicted of two non-capital murders to be punished in like manner as a person convicted of a capital murder.
Presiding judge, Justice Marsh, will hand down the sentence. The sentencing will mark the end of months of speculation about the case involving the well-known personality who was implicated in the murders of Dayton 'Scotchbrite' Williams and Rodney Farquharson. DNA evidence reportedly played a key role in the conviction.
Williams and Farquharson were shot and killed last April and their bodies burnt and dumped in an open lot at Rose Lane in downtown Kingston. Following police investigations, Phipps and Garfield Williams were subsequently charged with the murders. Williams was, however, freed last month after the jury was instructed by Justice Marsh to find him not guilty.
Phipps' defence team was headed by K Churchill Neita QC, and included Lloyd McFarlane, Neita-Robertson and George Soutar. Paula Llewellyn, the senior deputy director of public prosecution, marshalled the prosecution's case against Phipps.