(BVI NEWS) – Text messages have shown that Maybelline Rodriguez was an integral player in the elaborate plan that led to Trumayne ‘Passion’ Daway’s murder on February 27, prosecutors said in court today.
“She was, say the Crown, the honeytrap that brought Mr Daway to Brandywine Bay that night, and lured him to his death,” Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Kim Hollis told the court.
Rodriguez, Vernon Bernard, and Rafael Harrigan were hauled before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards today on charges in relation to the homicide.
Rodriguez and Bernard are jointly charged with murder, while Harrigan is charged with possession of an AK47 firearm along with Bernard.
All three accused are charged with taking a conveyance (vehicle) without authority.
Murder planned via WhatsApp
According to WhatsApp messages allegedly found on the accused woman’s phone, she and Bernard had been planning the murder since mid-February.
“The contents of it (her phone), including WhatsApp messages, photos, and videos … revealed not only the plan and the motive, but also pictures of the murder weapon – the AK47,” said DPP Hollis, who also alleged that Bernard initiated the plan to ‘set up Passion’.
The court was told that the victim was set up because he was blocking Bernard from ‘getting his money’.
It is alleged that on the day in question, Bernard called Rodriguez and told her she ‘needed to do it’. She allegedly responded that she ‘would try’.
It is alleged that on the said day, Rodriquez and the soon-to-be-killed victim met.
Rodriguez suggested that they go to Brandywine Bay, which was selected as the murder scene from the get-go, the court heard.
Victim lured with sex
When they arrived at the area, they parked the vehicle they were travelling in, the court heard.
“It was clear that he (the victim) wanted to have sex with her (Rodriguez), as he removed most of his clothing. It was at this stage, says the Crown, she excused herself to urinate,” DDP said.
It is alleged that once she was safely away from the vehicle, the shots were fired; killing Daway.
“It was not coincidental that she was not in the vehicle at the time, as she knew what was happening and planned it with Vernon Bernard in the preceding weeks,” the DDP added.
It is further alleged that once Daway was killed, both Rodriguez and Bernard tried to escape in their designated vehicle.
But they did not count on having car trouble that night, the court heard.
It is alleged that their car wouldn’t start so they hijacked a truck and spent the remainder of the night at Harrigan’s residence, which is said to be the ‘safe house’.
The prosecution further alleged that the photographs of the murder weapon that were captured days before the homicide were taken in Harrigan’s house.
A distinctive couch and other items in Harrigan’s house were captured in the said photos, the court heard.
“The couch itself is so distinctive that when the officers visited his home to arrest him (Harrigan) on Sunday, March 4, not only did they find the couch on which the videos and photos had been taken, but the same game console was on the couch in almost the exact same position,” DPP Hollis said.
Rodriguez, Bernard, and Harrigan were subsequently charged.
They were all denied bail during their appearance in the Magistrate’s Court today.
They are scheduled to return to court on May 25.