(SNO) — Commissioner of Police Severin Moncherry disclosed on Friday, November 2 that the “person of interest” in the murder of Kimberly De Leon — her husband — has proceeded on 100 days vacation leave.
“The person of interest, like I said earlier, has proceeded on vacation leave for I think about a 100 days leave,“ Moncherry told reporters in a report aired via HTSNews4orce. “Before that time [end of the vacation leave] we are hoping to be in a position, to either deal with that matter as it relates to this person as a suspect, or that he will be exonerated.”
“He [De Leon’s husband] continues to be a person of interest, and like I have said, we are working feverishly on this matter and we are hoping that soon we can come up with something that can lead us to a suspect,” Moncherry noted.
De Leon, the 42-year-old mother of two, was gunned down at her residence on Oct. 29, 2018. No one has been arrested to date.
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.
However, when questioned about the matter, the top cop defended O’Brian, saying his colleague was misunderstood.
“I think the deputy commissioner of police [O’Brian] is a very competent man,” Moncherry 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.”
O’Brian had said: “The officers got to the scene and realised there was one victim named Kimberly De Leon, aged 42, and that victim was pronounced dead on the scene by a medical practitioner. Resulting from this, the victim is the wife of a police officer attached to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. Due to past domestic incidents, prior, which were reported to the force, where we took action, it was of necessity that that police officer became a person of interest. As a result, the investigation is ongoing and it is in a very active stage.”
O’Brian added: “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.”
Like his boss, O’Brian had assured the public that the investigation will be unbiased.
“I have full confidence in the persons carrying out the investigation. And let me assure you that the person carrying out the investigation is a senior officer, one of the most senior officers within the Major Crime Department, and I don’t believe there will be a need for an independent investigation, but as all investigations, the DPP give directives, and if the DPP calls for an independent investigation then so be it. But I have full confidence in those persons carrying out the investigations presently,” O’Brian said.