Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Custodial dad on trial for murder admits he beat, isolated 10-year-old son (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)

I've had about all I can stand of GARFIELD BOOTHE. Notice how possessive he was of his "fruit." This is very typical of the abusive father who gains custody--only to shut the mother out and murder the child.

Father admits to beating, isolating Shakeil before the boy’s death

Brampton Guardian

By Pam Douglas

BRAMPTON— In the final day of a 6 ½ week trial, Garfield Boothe told a Brampton jury Wednesday that his wife beat and chained up his 10-year-old son, yet he called her a “one-in-a-million mom” in a jailhouse love letter he wrote less than a year ago.

Nichelle Boothe-Rowe is the “only woman I want to raise my fruit,” Boothe wrote in one of 15 cards and love letters sent to his wife and co-accused last year while she was in custody at the Vanier Centre for Women. She is also accused of killing the boy.

Boothe professed his love for her in passages read out in court Wednesday, as he was cross-examined in the witness stand, using his own words, and quoting words from songs.

Boothe and Boothe-Rowe are both on trial for second-degree murder in the death of Boothe’s son Shakeil, 10.

Their trial began Feb. 3 and in the 6 ½ weeks that followed, a jury of five women and seven men heard from 42 witnesses as dozens of photographs and exhibits were filed in the case.

Final submissions from the Crown, Boothe’s defence lawyer John Rosen, and Boothe-Rowe’s defence lawyer Brian Ross, will be made late next Wednesday. The case is expected to be in the hands of the jury by early in the week of March 31.

The boy died in his Homeland Court home on May 26, 2011 after weeks of abuse, including being chained by the ankle to the leg of his bed in the months before he died.

His father and step-mother are blaming each other for his death and have both testified in their own defence. Boothe has been on the witness stand for three days.

On Wednesday, Boothe admitted to Crown attorney Brian McGuire in cross-examination that he suspected Shakeil had pneumonia, an illness he knew could be fatal if left untreated, but he chose not to seek medical help for him.

Boothe told jurors that, despite knowing Shakeil was sick and getting sicker, he did not take him to a doctor for fear he would be jailed and/or deported when the marks and injuries all over the child’s body were discovered.

He said he also didn’t want the couple’s baby, Jayden, to be taken away by Children’s Aid Society.

“It was not just Shakeil I was thinking about at the time,” he testified. “I had to think about Nichelle and Jayden… I was thinking about my family at home.”

“Where did you show any concern for his (Shakeil’s) life?” McGuire demanded of Boothe.

“Shakeil was being treated for a cold… I was unaware of what was transpiring with Shakeil at the time would have cost him his life.”

He said he was treating Shakeil’s illness with Tylenol and Buckley’s, and was inquiring about getting antibiotics from Jamaica.

Boothe thought the Children’s Aid Society would have taken Shakeil and Jayden out of the house if they knew Shakeil was being chained up.

“That would have been the best thing that happened to Shakeil if he was taken away by the authorities,” McGuire said.

Boothe agreed.

McGuire pointed out Boothe “isolated” Shakeil by removing him from “anybody who could blow the whistle on you”.

“All of the institutions of Canadian society that might raise an alarm about the way you were treating your son. You isolated him from that,” McGuire said.

“Yes, correct,” Boothe answered, noting he kept him out of school, didn’t take him to a doctor, and lied to the Children’s Aid Society all so they would not discover the boy was being beaten and chained.

“You chose to protect yourself rather than his health,” McGuire accused.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Boothe responded.

Boothe admitted beating Shakeil with the boy’s own belt until he bled on several occasions. He said he would hit him on the shoulders, legs and feet, saying he was disciplining him.

“That’s how I was brought up,” he testified.

When asked by McGuire if Shakeil would scream out in pain when he was being beaten, Boothe responded, “Not on all occasions.”

“On some occasions?” McGuire asked. “He was screaming out in pain and agony?”

“Yes,” Boothe testified.

He said he never asked him if he was hurt or in pain.

Boothe told the court he did not notice Shakeil having difficulty moving or any indication the boy was in pain, even though the coroner has testified the youngster’s ribs were broken weeks before his death, and re-fractured in the beating he received in the minutes or hours before he died.

Boothe admitted the boy spent most of his time in his room and did not go outside to play.

He said he put Polysporin on the open sores on Shakeil’s body, and said the boy would pick at scabs and open up the wounds.

Boothe said the autopsy pictures of the open sores did not represent what they looked like when he inflicted the injuries.

“This was not the end result (of his beatings),” he said when asked about the pictures.

“You’re saying it was Shakeil’s fault?” McGuire asked.

“I’m not blaming Shakeil. I would never blame my son for anything,” he responded.

He testified he did not lay a hand on Shakeil in the three weeks before his death from a combination of a severe beating, pneumonia and malnourishment.

He also refuted his wife’s testimony that he stomped on Shakeil on Mother’s Day when the boy ripped a page out of a book.

“That did not happen,” he testified.

He also denied he stomped on Shakeil during that final beating.

“I had no reason to stomp on Shakeil’s chest,” he testified.

As McGuire showed him areas of the house where Shakeil’s blood was found spattered on the wall— the hallway, the boy’s room— he admitted he had beaten him in those areas, but said he couldn’t describe the incidents because he doesn’t store negative events on his “hard drive”.

“I can’t isolate no events in that house,” he told McGuire, denying the Crown’s assertion that he had beaten the boy so many times he “lost track”.

“I can’t say that, sir. Shakeil’s discipline has been spread out over a period of time,” Boothe responded.