A US Navy officer was charged last week after being accused of hiring hitmen to kill a Jamaican politician’s daughter and the child’s mother.
Leoda Bradshaw is facing charges including capital murder and kidnapping in connection to the death of Phillip Paulwell’s 10-month-old daughter, Sarayah Paulwell, and 27-year-old Toshyna Patterson, the Jamaica Observer reported, citing the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Paulwell, 61, is a Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal and also has a child with Bradshaw. The two were reportedly in a relationship together, officials say, and Bradshaw touts him as her spouse.
Authorities alleged that when Bradshaw arrived in Jamaica in early September, she planned the crime for three individuals to carry out. They were identified as Richard Brown, Roshane Miller, and her cousin, Roland Balfour.
“This plan also contained part payment (which had been made) of a certain amount of money by Leoda Bradshaw to the men for the successful execution of the plan,” the ODPP said, the Observer reported.
The victims, Sarayah and Patterson, were abducted from their home in Kingston on Sept. 9, after she entered an SUV, and taken about 20 minutes away to St. Andrew, per the outlet. This is where the men allegedly murdered them.
Per a timeline from CVM Television, Paulwell announced a $500,000 reward for information about the victim’s whereabouts days after they were reported missing. Last week, police said the duo was murdered, and their bodies were burned. According to the television station, the indictment alleges Bradshaw, a U.S. citizen, concocted the plan after she found out Paulwell had a baby with Patterson.
On Sunday, Paulwell released a statement in response to the incident, expressing that he is heartbroken and hoping those involved are “punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Nothing could have prepared me for the events that unfolded since last week Thursday and the alleged discoveries. That anyone could murder a mother and an innocent baby is unimaginable and my heart is heavy with sadness,” the statement said. “I am praying for Toshyna’s family who I know are experiencing the unbearable grief and pain of losing their beloved daughter and granddaughter.”
Brown, Miller, and Balfour are also facing similar charges, per the Jamaica Observer. Bradshaw and her cousin are expected to have another court appearance in December.
The US Navy confirmed that Bradshaw was a petty officer based in Miami, Florida. It said it “takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and is fully cooperating with appropriate investigative and law enforcement authorities,” NBC Miami reported.
A video shows Bradshaw leaving a recent court appearance with her face concealed. On Sept. 10, she released a statement denying involvement in the victims’ disappearance and said their interaction was solely online. She said that her daughter started to receive threats and sexually explicit photos online, which was reported to the FBI and later officials in Jamaica. Despite this, she claimed, the threats continued.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.
“On Tuesday, September 5, I received an email from a [email protected] advising me ‘she’ has been trying to contact me for months on Facebook to inform me that Ms. Patterson had a child with Phillip,” Bradshaw wrote. “I spoke to Phillip and he confirmed that he had a brief relationship with Ms. Patterson and it is possible that the child was his but he was not certain as a DNA test had not yet been done.”
According to Bradshaw, Patterson had searched her LinkedIn twice before the emails started rolling in. She decided to reach out to Patterson to talk about the possibility of her baby being Paulwell’s child, and a DNA test would be conducted to confirm. She said she shared the information with authorities.
“I will continue to pray for the safe return of Ms. Patterson and her baby and ask anyone with information to contact the police,”‘ she said.