Social Commentary

My two cents: x6 murder trial – Who is the real victim here?


I remember I was in lower 6th form at Wolmers when I heard of Khajeel Mais. Though the circumstances upon which I heard of him were unfortunate, one thing was apparent was the level of respect and appreciation he commanded from the teenage community at the time; especially the girls. The details of his alleged murder at the time was unclear to me, and at one point seemed like a rumor with the amount of theories that surfaced. One theory which I can recall was that he (Khajeel) exited the taxi and attempted to provoke the driver (Patrick Powell) and a struggle ensued which led to his subsequent death. Another theory is that there was another person in the BMW X6 which was reportedly the son of Patrick Powell, and the son being familiar with Mais engaged in a verbal brawl which prompted Powell to exit the vehicle and try to intimidate Mais with his firearm; and somehow through intimidating Mais to retire his anger the gun fired off.

So many theories, but none of which point to the truth. One truth we know though is that Patrick Powell is a notable businessman, of what particular trade I wasn’t able to identify but he is presumed to be successful and legitimate in what he does. Powell had fled the island for the United States following the altercation with young Mais, and according to their defense attorney Peter Champagnie, was “lured” back to the island recently following the detainment of his son, Jhanai Powell, for his involvement in the assault of a man in 2009. According to clerk of court Hansurd Lawson in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court, it was the influence of the youth’s family that had been preventing his arrest for so long. Peter Champagnie,  in his defense of Powell dismissed this claim and asserted that he had not been arrested all along because the complainant had given a vague statement to the police.

What this highlights to me is that the Powells both have a tendency to solve their disputes in less amicable ways (allegedly) and that these men are part of a very powerful and influential family; with the kind of influence that can potentially pervert the course of justice. Criminals and Dons have used their wealth and influence to capture justice before, and with the Police Force being perceived to be one of the most corrupt institutions in Jamaica, it’s not a hard theory to prove. But against all these facts, “facts” and allegations what we know for sure is that: 1) Khajeel Mais is dead 2) eye witness accounts put Patrick Powell at the scene of the crime 3) Powell is a wealthy and influential businessman 4) The media has been sensationalizing this issue to paint Mais as the only victim 5) Witnesses from the scene in 2009 who indicated an interest to cooperate at first, have now been diagnosed with amnesia conveniently dating back to the day of Mais’ death.

There is clearly more to this story that meets our eyes, and as hard as it is to be objective we must try our best in the name of Justice. Let’s watch this case keenly and make conclusions after all the facts have been gathered and presented, and not from personal bias. Personally, I am leaning towards Mais being the victim and the possibility that a struggle did in fact happen between them which led to Mais’s death; but that’s just my theory. I’m still giving Powell the benefit of the doubt because believe it or not, we could all be wrong.