Barbadians testify at alleged satanic ritual murder trial
ROSEAU, Dominica, Wednesday June 20, 2012 – For the past week, a jury of five women and four men have heard testimony from police and family members of both victim and defendant at the horrific trial of the man accused of murdering former University of the West Indies (UWI) student Corey Rohan Poleon of St Lucy, Barbados.
The accused, Sherman Webb of Kingshill, Dominica, is charged with the murder of Poleon, a 23-year-old bank teller, between August 31, 2009 and March 18, 2010.
According to information revealed in court last week, Poleon visited Dominica in February of 2009 and again on August 3, 2009 to meet Webb. The two men had allegedly met via the Internet.
Poleon’s family members reported him missing after he failed to return home to Barbados. His mortal remains were later found under the floorboards of a small wooden house in Elmshall, Dominica.
Webb allegedly confessed to the crime to three police officers: Corporal Jeffrey James, Sergeant Matthew Cuffy and Constable Scotland, detailing what had transpired and leading them to the scene of the incident.
Allegedly, Webb took Poleon to the heights of River Claire in Elmshall to a little “wooden shack” where he “chopped him on both sides of his neck” causing him to bleed to death.
Sergeant Cuffy testified that the alleged murder took place in a blue wooden house in Elmshall. Upon entering, the defendant pointed to an area on the floor where he had allegedly buried Poleon.
Police removed the floorboards and dug a hole where skeletal remains of the deceased were recovered along with a greenish rubber wristband bearing his name.
Cuffy said the accused admitted to using a cutlass to injure Poleon on his neck and digging a hole beneath the floor where he removed all his clothes and buried him.
Webb allegedly went on to replace the boards, carry water from a nearby river and wash the blood from the floor, and return to his home in Kingshill where he disposed of the clothing and other items belonging to the deceased.
According to the accused’s statements to the officer, he and Poleon were arguing, “trying to conjure the demon and in the middle of it, he got scared”.
Investigators reportedly found several items of paraphernalia related to some form of satanic ritual at Webb’s home.
Samples of the remains unearthed by police were taken to Jamaica and Barbados for testing and were confirmed to be those of Corey Poleon. The skeletal remains were subsequently presented and admitted into evidence.
On Monday, Poleon’s mother Denise Gilkes, his brother Lawrence Gilkes and sister Janelle Gilkes testified on behalf of the state.
Poleon’s mother described her late son as a very ambitious, intelligent and spiritual young man.
Janelle Gilkes, his sister, explained that she was very close to Poleon and he confided in her and her mother.
Other witnesses who have testified so far include police photographer Sergeant George Theophile; Mona James, Webb’s aunt, and Police Constable Issac Prevost.
James, who sobbed uncontrollably in court, explained that Webb had lived with her for several years and that she had seen Poleon for about four days. She said that when she later enquired as to his whereabouts, she was informed by her nephew that he had returned home.
Director of Public Prosecutions Gene Pestaina and State Attorney Arthlyn Nesty are leading the state’s case.
Justice Birnie Stephenson Brookes is presiding.