St Mary man charged with US missionaries’ murder pleads guilty Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Dwight Henry, a St Mary who is jointly charged with the murder of two United States missionaries in the parish six years ago, pleaded guilty to the crimes in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston on Tuesday.

Henry, a resident of Wentworth in St Mary, is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday, January 18 in relation to the 2016 slaying of 48-year-old Randy Hentzel and 53-year-old Harold Nichols.

The disclosures were made when Henry’s co-accused, Andre Thomas of Port Maria, St Mary, appeared alone in the Home Circuit Court on Thursday.

Thomas has pleaded not guilty in relation to the murders, and is expected to stand trial next Thursday.

However, presiding High Court Judge, Justice Leighton Pusey, informed Thomas that his attorneys, Leroy Equiano and Althea Freeman, have to review additional information that have been provided to them by the court, to prepare for the trial.

The matter was subsequently adjourned until January 19.

Meanwhile, Henry was expected to be sentenced on Wednesday of this week, but his antecedent report remains outstanding.

The media was barred from the hearing of Henry’s guilty plea on Tuesday, as the judge expressed concern that the upcoming trial against Thomas could be compromised if potential jury members heard of certain facts about the case in the media.

Family members of the deceased missionaries were allowed inside the courtroom, but the judge imposed a gag order on them.

Hentzel and Nichols of US outreach group TEAMS for Medical Missions, were found dead in bushes in Albion Mountain district, St Mary on Saturday, April 30, 2016, and Sunday, May 1, 2016, respectively.

Henry and Thomas were in their mid-20s at the time the murder charges were laid against them.

The two missionaries were reportedly last seen alive when they left Tower Isle in St Mary on motorcycles at about 8am on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Residents later stumbled upon their bodies in bushes. Hentzel was found with his hands bound and his face down, while Nichols’ body was found with his head bashed in.

Autopsies later concluded that Hentzel died of a gunshot wound, while Nichols had gunshot and chop wounds.