by JP Schwmon #SituationUpdates
Yaphatoo Poyer – the beloved 43 years old reggae artiste who hails from Murray’s Village – was on Monday cleared as a person of interest in an incident that resulted in the violent death of his 35 years old cousin Leon ‘Turtle” Lee.
According to reports local police picked up Yaphatoo in connection with the incident which, they claimed, occurred on Monday December 27 about 7:15 am.
Speaking exclusively with Asbert News Network on Monday the Concrete Jungle singer/songwriter explained the chain of events, as he understood them, that led to his cousin’s untimely demise.
“I woke up this morning, usually I head to my brother’s house because we live close by. When I go to visit him he was normal so I tell him I going round the road by the shop to buy some cigarettes. By the time I got back I heard somebody say ‘the guy dead you know.’
“Then I heard my brother arguing and crying at the same time so I asked him what happened. He ain’t really answer me so I went home and I called him up by me and asked him what happened. He said he got in an altercation with my cousin.
“Up to now I don’t know what caused the altercation or what happened because he was crying and talking at the same time and nervous – you know?”
A Royal SVG Police Force media release, dated December 28, 2021 stated:
“The deceased [Leon “Turtle” Lee] and Jomo Poyer, a 40 years old body workman was residing in the same dwelling house… an altercation allegedly arose between the deceased and Poyer. The altercation resulted in the deceased receiving multiple chop and stab wounds to his body.
Poyer was charged with the murder on December 29th
Yaphatoo, who battles his own mental health challenges, further claimed that his brother “also suffers with schizophrenic [sic].”
According to the elder Poyer sibling, Monday’s fatal fight was the culmination of prolonged hostilities between all three parties.
“We was making reports a long time now about this guy. It’s a family house we live in – 3 of us was living there and I had was to move and live by a neighbor now; the neighbor who taught me to play guitar.
“He has an old house in his yard. He told me to repair it and stay in it seeing that my cousin threatening me and my brother life [sic]. He [Turtle] would turn on the music like 3 o’clock in the morning and have us up and when we talk to him he tell we he go poison fuxkin’ we, he go chop we to fuxk up, he go shoot we.
“We keep making reports to the station; sometimes he’ll get locked up for a night cause sometimes he’ll come home in the night and threaten we and my brother will call the police. He will spend a night in Barracks and when he come home the other night the same thing will happen again.
“He always tormenting me and my brother. That’s why I had to move….”
When pressed Yaphatoo confirmed that he was not involved in the quarrel that ended with his cousin mortally wounded. He told ANN:
“I didn’t see him for the morning. Up to now I ain’t see the body – I ain’t see him alive, I ain’t see him dead. I didn’t see him for the whole morning.”
The police, Yaphatoo said, “took a report from me and they told me I have nothing to do with it so I can leave. But my brother is a good man. He [Turtle] been provoking us for a long time, threatening us and stuff like that.
“He told me one time he would stop me from playing guitar – in the manner of like kill me nuh…. It was self-defense, not like me brother just do him something. Me brother was defending himself.”
Asked whether or not he had witnessed any part of the quarrel, Yaphatoo claimed:
“While talking and trembling he [Jomo] say he [Turtle] attacked him. I asked him what but he say he attack him.”
The Vincentian reggae singer also noted his own anxiety regarding being mixed up, even tangentially, in a murder case.
“I feel very bad about that because I have an album to release in February and it’s a good album. People know me as a spiritually uplifting reggae singer and it could tarnish my album and my career worldwide,” he said.
The 10-track LP, dubbed ‘Wisdom’ is about 50% completed with the remaining 5 tracks scheduled to be recorded in January 2022.