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‘Michaela warned trouble was brewing’

Published: 
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
1st La Brea murder victim buried

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Despite being warned that something eerie was afoot, it was 14-year-old’s fondness for the Chapman family that led her to their La Brea home on the night they were all brutally murdered.

Speaking at Mason’s funeral yesterday, Everton Charles, the father of Abigail Jones-Chapman, one of the other victims, said he initially took Michaela away from his daughter’s home because he knew something was about to happen.

Speaking of the murders last week, Charles said: “The last time I spoke with her when I went into the home, I said to her ‘Michaela, you need to go home because things are happening here. I would not want you to be around.’ And something happened and I dropped her right home there. I said ‘Michaela, I don’t mind you coming back, but I’m afraid’ because I knew what was happening and it so happened that on the day of the sports meeting, she was supposed to go to school and I don’t know how she ended up with my granddaughter.

“A lot of people said all kinds of things but they were home in Scott’s house safe. Somebody forgot something down in the apartment and then was when the bacchanal started.”

Charles’ insight into the murders that rocked the Sobo community brought haunting screams and tears from relatives and the scores of youngsters who packed to the Sobo Village Basketball Court for the funeral.

Charles’ message to the youngsters, many of them schoolmates of Mason, at Point Fortin East Secondary School and her former Palo Seco Secondary School, was that of discernment and respect. He told the young ladies to be careful with the men they meet and said men need to check themselves on their treatment of women.

Mason wore number 9 as a striker for her school’s football team and her teammates came out in their T-shirts to have one last time of togetherness. But they could barely stand through the funeral, having to embrace each other through the ordeal of saying goodbye.

In his sermon, Bishop Christopher Henry stressed there was a need to bring back the lesson of respect in the home, as it was where nurturing took place. He said it was important for husbands to seek dialogue with their wives instead of leaving whenever issues arise. For neighbours who see a family in distress, he said it was not good enough to carry a message, but it was better to provide a solution.

School principal Ainsley Gopaul called on mourners to join their annual walkathon on May 3, as they will seek to raise awareness of the societal issues that led to Mason’s demise.

Mason, who was called up to train with the national under-15 girls’ football team, was killed last Tuesday along with her best friend Olivia Chapman, 15, Olivia’s mother Jones-Chapman and their landlord Michael Scott. Mason was visiting Olivia on Tuesday when it was alleged someone from a previous relationship with Jones-Chapman went to the home and carried out the acts. On Sunday, police held the 38-year-old suspect in Valencia. Jones-Chapman and Olivia’s funeral will be held today.

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