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(SNO) — A law enforcement source has stated that police are aware of reports of domestic disturbances or heated arguments involving Kimberly Williams-De Leon and her husband, but not reports of violence that media houses have been reporting.
Williams-De Leon, a 42-year-old government employee and mother of two, was gunned down at her residence on Chef Harry Drive, Morne Fortune on the night of Oct. 29, 2018.
Her husband, a senior police officer, was mentioned by police as a person of interest, but members of the public have been calling for his arrest due to allegations in some media reports that he physically assaulted her in at least two incidents that occurred about six to seven months ago.
However, the law enforcement source told St. Lucia News Online that the media is “always spreading gossip”.
“They need to verify. So much false news they’re spreading it’s not even funny,” the source said.
“They said the woman was shot seven times. That was not the case. They said the officer was beating the woman — not the case. The deputy said domestic disputes, not violence,” the source added.
Like common fights between couples, the disputes centered around allegations of infidelity and sinister behaviours, the source alleged.
The source further disclosed that the disputes appeared to have stemmed from paranoia and mistrust, but there was nothing physical.
“But they run the story as if he was beating her,” the source noted.
A post-mortem revealed Williams-De Leon sustained one gunshot wound, and that was to the head, despite early media reports that she was shot multiple times.
Neighbours did report to the media of having heard seven to 10 explosions in the vicinity of the homicide.
“They heard,” the source said, “but only one hit her. And no one considered maybe she was hit by a stray bullet and not all was directed at her.”
Asked why the police remained silent and allowed the (‘alleged’) untruths to spiral out of control, the source said: “They (police) cannot legally come out and say parts of the evidence.”
The source is adamant that the media is to be blamed for the false info, not the police “because they don’t bother to investigate. Anytime someone is willing to speak to them they’re willing to air. No fact-checking”.
The source added that the police is unable to disclose certain details of a homicide investigation, especially in its infancy state, but had the media asked the right questions then there would be no confusion.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Oct. 30, the day after the murder, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) In Charge of Operations, Dorian O’Brian, first mentioned that De Leon’s husband is a person of interest in the investigation because of domestic dispute reports involving the couple that were made twice this year. Legal experts have since opined with our newsroom that disclosing this information to the public without the husband being charged, may prejudice a future trial.
O’Brian had said: “I can recall there have been two incidents prior that police did respond to and had to quell certain issues between the wife and the husband. But I can’t go into the details … maybe between the region of six to seven months ago. I would also like to clear the air that the police force, myself and the assistant commissioner for crime had a proper briefing this morning to ensure that the investigation will not be biased just because the person of interest is a police officer.”
When asked if the deputy mentioning that the husband is a person of interest, contributed to the false reports, the source said: “No, he answered what was already out there. The media had already run that long before his interview. The man’s pic (husband) was put before the interview. The simple things that were aired were things they could fact check.”
Commissioner of Police Severin Moncherry have defended O’Brian’s statements, saying his colleague was misunderstood.
“I think the deputy commissioner of police [O’Brian] is a very competent man,” Moncherry had said, “and I think at the time he would have spoken, he would have examined the circumstances carefully. And I am sure that whatever he said he would have been justified in saying whatever he said, and whatever information he would have given. Also, [I am] thinking he may have been misunderstood in the things that he said, and some of what he said may have been taken out of context.”
“There is no need to set any record straight because I don’t see any difficulty with what he said,” Moncherry added. “Like I said, what he said at the time would have been said based on information he had in the circumstances. So I don’t see there is any need for me to justify or correct or set any record straight.”